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STANDARDS COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 11th April, 2014.

 

Present:  Mr. A.G. Hallett (Chairman); Mr. A. Lane (Vice-Chairman); Councillors C.P. Franks, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen and Mrs. A.J. Moore; Mr. D. Carsley and Town Councillor M. Cuddy.

 

 

1046            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Mr. J.F. Baker and Mrs. M.J. Pearce.

 

 

1047            MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 5th December, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

1048            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

Councillor Mrs. M. Kelly Owen declared a non-prejudicial interest in Agenda Item No. 14 in that she was acquainted with one of the individuals identified in the report.

 

 

1049            APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION (MO) –

 

The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 permitted Members to apply to the Standards Committee to speak and, if appropriate, to vote on matters concerning which, due to a prejudicial interest, they might not otherwise be able to speak or vote.

 

Committee also considered correspondence received from the Town Clerk of Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council which set out the nature of the various personal and prejudicial interests held by individual Councillors in relation to paragraph 2(a) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

 

A copy of an e-mail received from the Clerk of Llanmaes Community Council setting out the nature of the various personal and prejudicial interests held by individual Councillors on the Community Council was distributed at the meeting.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the dispensations as set out in the schedule below be granted up to the date of the next Local Government Elections, as indicated, or the applications be refused.


Member Requesting Dispensation

Matter on Which Dispensation Sought

Paragraph(s) of the Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 Under Which Dispensation is Sought

New or

Existing

Decision

Town Councillor J.R. Harris

To speak and vote at Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council during discussions on matters involving the draft LDP, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate site.

2(a), 2(d), 2(e), 2(g), 2(i)

New

Dispensation granted to speak and vote at Town Council meetings during matters concerning the draft LDP except for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate site in compliance with Paragraph 2(a) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 which governs the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

Town Councillor Ms. M. Arnold

To speak and vote at Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council during discussions in connection with the LDP, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate site.

a, d, f, h

 

New

Dispensation granted to speak and vote at any Town Council meetings / discussions in connection with the LDP, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate site in compliance with Paragraph 2(a) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 which governs the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

Town Councillor G.A. Cox

To speak and vote in any Town Council meetings / discussions in connection with the LDP, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate Site in view of Councillor Cox being Clerk to the Charity.

a, d, f, g

New

Dispensation granted to speak and vote at any Town Council meetings / discussions in connection with the LDP, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate site in compliance with Paragraph 2(a) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 which governs the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

 

The Standards Committee noted that it had granted the Applicant dispensation to speak and vote on this matter as a result of the Applicant’s membership of the Vale of Glamorgan Council at its meeting held on 4th September 2012.

Town Councillor Mrs. S.M. Cox

To speak and vote in any Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council meetings / discussions concerning matters involving the Draft Local Development Plan save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate Site in view of Councillor Mrs. Cox's husband being Clerk to the Trustees of the Evan Jenkins Charity.

a, d, f, g

New

Dispensation granted to speak and vote at any Town Council meetings / discussions in connection with the LDP, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate site in compliance with Paragraph 2(a) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 which governs the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

Town Councillor Mrs. S.M. Cox

To speak and vote in any Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council meetings / discussions in connection with the LDP, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate Site as a result of her being a sub-warden of Llanblethian Church and as such an ex-officio Trustee of the Evan Jenkins Charity which has a candidate site included within the Vale of Glamorgan Draft LDP.

a, d, f, h

New

Dispensation granted to speak and vote at any Town Council meetings / discussions in connection with the LDP, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate site in compliance with Paragraph 2(a) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 which governs the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

Town Councillor Mrs. G. Baty

To speak and vote on the LDP. in view of Councillor Baty being a Trustee of the Evan Jenkins Charity and having a relative living near Darren Farm, Cowbridge.

81(4)

a, d, e, h

New

Dispensation granted to speak and vote at any Town Council meetings / discussions in connection with the LDP, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate site or Darren Farm, Cowbridge, in compliance with Paragraph 2(a) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 which governs the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

Community Councillor Ms. J. Simpson

To speak and vote at Llanmaes Community Council on the Local Development Plan, in particular its proposals for Llanmaes Community Council area.

(a), (e), (f)

New

Dispensation granted to speak and vote at any Community Council meetings / discussions in connection with the LDP site in compliance with Paragraph 2(e) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 which governs the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

Community Councillor T. Fowler

To speak and vote at Llanmaes Community Council on the Local Development Plan, in particular its proposals for Llanmaes Community Council area.

(a), (e), (f)

New

Dispensation granted to speak and vote at any Community Council meetings / discussions in connection with the LDP in compliance with Paragraph 2(e) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 which governs the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with the Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensation) (Wales) Regulations 2001 governing applications for the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

 

 

1050            MATTER WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WAS URGENT –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the following matter which the Chairman had decided was urgent for the reason given beneath the minute heading be considered.

 

 

1051            APPLICATION FOR GRANT OF DISPENSATION (MO) –

(Urgent by reason of the need to consider a request for dispensation to speak and vote received from Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Councillor Ms. F. Blomeley prior to the next meeting of the Committee)

 

The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 permitted Members to apply to the Standards Committee to speak and, if appropriate, to vote on matters concerning which, due to a prejudicial interest, they might not otherwise be able to speak or vote. 

 

In considering the application, Committee also considered correspondence received from the Town Clerk of Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council which set out the nature of the various personal and prejudicial interests held by individual Councillors in relation to Paragraph 2(a) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

 

The application had been to speak and vote at various meetings of Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council in the future when the LDP was to be discussed in view of Councillor Blomeley

 

-         Having a close personal friend who lived opposite Downs View Close, Aberthin.  Any proposed development would not have any visual impact on her friend’s property but the issue of traffic access onto the A4222 was an issue for all residents in that area.

-         Councillor Blomeley and her husband owning a house at the opposite end of Castle Hill to the development, on the corner of Castle Hill with Bridge Road, Llanblethian.  The proposed development would have no impact on her property. 

 

The paragraph of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 under which dispensation was sought was 2(a).

 

It was

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the request for dispensation received from Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Councillor Ms. Frances Blomeley to speak and vote at various meetings of the Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council at which the LDP was to be discussed be granted in compliance with Paragraph 2(a) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 which governed the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote and that the dispensation be granted up to the date of the next Local Government Elections.

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with the Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 governing applications for the grant of dispensations to speak / speak and vote.

 

 

1052            GUIDANCE FROM THE PUBLIC SERVICES OMBUDSMAN FOR WALES REGARDING THE CODE OF CONDUCT (MO) –

 

Committee were updated on an exchange of correspondence between the Chairman of this Committee and the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales concerning revised guidance on the Code of Conduct for Members following the High Court decision in the case of Calver.

 

Committee, on 12th November 2012 had been advised that the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales ("the Ombudsman") had issued revised guidance on the Code of Conduct following a High Court decision in the case of Calver, R (on the application of) v The Adjudication Panel for Wales.  In that matter, the Court had found that whilst comments which had been posted on a website operated by a Member were sarcastic and mocking, and that the tone ridiculed his fellow Councillors, because the majority of the comments related to the way in which the Council was run and the competence of the Councillors, the comments were "political expression".  The ruling found that the Adjudication Panel took an over-narrow view of what amounts to political expression and no account had been taken of the need for politicians to have "thicker skins".  In view of the Member’s entitlement to freedom of expression, and the fact that the majority of comments were directed at fellow Councillors, the finding of a breach of the Code in this case was regarded as a disproportionate interference with the Member’s rights under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.  The Standards Committee’s decision to censure the Member was therefore set aside by the High Court.

 

The impact of the ruling was that the Ombudsman would have to apply a higher threshold when deciding whether to investigate any conduct complained about which may be regarded as being political expression.  The Ombudsman had advised that he would not therefore investigate when such cases of political criticism were made regardless of the tone of the exchange, and indicated that allegations of disrespectful behaviour towards officers, particularly those who may hold senior positions, would also be considered in the light of this ruling. 

 

The meeting of the Standards Committee on 12th November 2012 was of the view that it would be inappropriate to apply the guidance for Members similarly to officers as the case of Calver primarily referred to conduct of Elected Members, and that officers should therefore not be exposed to the same interpretation as they were not politically appointed representatives of the Council.

 

Committee had requested that the Chairman write to the Ombudsman expressing the Committee’s concern at the proposed interpretation. 

 

Committee were advised of the contents of the Chairman’s letter to the Ombudsman and of his response.  In particular, the Ombudsman noted the Committee’s concerns about the extension of the ruling in the case of R (on the application of Calver) v the Adjudication Panel for Wales to disrespectful behaviour by Members towards officers, especially more senior officers of a Council.  Given the implications of this judgement on paragraph 4(b) of the Code of Conduct, the Ombudsman had sought external legal advice on whether there were grounds to appeal the decision and for advice on the implications of the judgement in relation to the interaction of Members with officers of the Council.

 

The Ombudsman had been advised against appealing the decision.  Insofar as a Member’s interaction with an officer was concerned, the advice received was that although the general principals established by UK and European Court of Justice case law would apply, each case would be determined on its particular facts.  Clearly the relationship between an officer and an Elected Member was different from that between Members and that being so, it was more likely that a breach of the Code would be upheld where a Member was inappropriately critical of an officer than where a Member was critical of a fellow Member.

 

Having considered the contents of the report, it was

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the correspondence sent to and received from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To apprise Members of the relevant correspondence.

 

 

1053            PROTOCOL – STANDARD OF CONDUCT EXPECTED BY MEMBERS (MO) –

 

Committee considered the revised "Protocol – Standard of Conduct Expected by Members".

 

The meeting of the Standards Committee, on 5th December 2013, received a report detailing in part the draft "Protocol – Standard of Conduct Expected by Members" (the "Protocol") which appeared in the New Welsh Model Constitution.  A number of amendments were discussed and it was resolved that a report be brought back to this meeting.

 

Part of the role of the Standards Committee was to promote and maintain high standards of conduct amongst Members and to assist them to observe the Members’ Code of Conduct. 

 

The purpose of the Protocol shown at Appendix A to the report was to establish a benchmark of behaviour which was acceptable between Members.  It was not intended to replace the Members’ Code of Conduct but to sit alongside it and fill the gap between behaviour which possibly in itself was not serious, but created unpleasantness between Council Members, and behaviour that was approaching the threshold of being serious enough for the Ombudsman to hold an investigation.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the revised "Protocol – Standard of Conduct Expected by Members" attached at Appendix A to the report be agreed and referred to the Council’s New Welsh Model Constitution Working Party for incorporation into the Council’s Constitution as part of the ongoing work in reviewing the new Welsh Model Constitution.

 

Reason for decision

 

With a view to promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by Councillors and co-opted members and sharing the views of the Standards Committee with the New Welsh Model Constitution Working Party.

 

 

1054            LOCAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURE (MO) –

 

Committee were requested to consider and agree an informal local dispute resolution procedure to address low level complaints of breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct ("the Code") and Protocol – Standard of Conduct Expected by Members, in response to Welsh Government and the former Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ concerns.

 

In the most recent revision of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ Guidance on the Code of Conduct for Members of Local Authorities, there was an expectation that local authorities throughout Wales would implement a Local Dispute Resolution Procedure to deal with low level complaints which were made by a Member against a fellow Member. 

 

The Ombudsman had indicated that the following would fall within this category:

 

(i)        Failure to show respect and consideration for others contrary to paragraph 4(b) of the Code.

(ii)       Duty not to make vexatious, malicious or frivolous complaints against other Members under paragraph 6(1)(d) of the Code.

 

Complaints of this type were expressly mentioned by the Ombudsman although other breaches of the Code may also be regarded as low level complaints.

 

The Ombudsman set out the advantages of dealing with such low level complaints as follows:

 

(i)        Speeds up the complaints process permitting a local and quick resolution of lower order issues.

(ii)       Avoids unnecessary escalation of the situation which might impact on personal relationships within the Authority and damage the Authority’s reputation.

(iii)      Avoids unnecessary formal complaints and the involvement of the Ombudsman whose resources could be devoted to the investigation of more serious or repeated complaints.

 

On 5th December 2013, the Committee was informed that approximately 13 Councils had introduced some form of Local Dispute Resolution Procedure and a number of other Councils were developing models.  The model adopted by some comprised a relatively formal procedure and involved the Standards Committee.  Conversely, the model adopted by others involved the adoption of a self-regulatory protocol which incorporated a procedure for dealing with complaints via Group Leaders and only involved participation by an independent Member of the Standards Committee if the matter could not be resolved at the first stage.  The Standards Committee considered that a Local Dispute Resolution Procedure, which operated with the full support and commitment of all political groups was key to securing a swift resolution of what were deemed low level complaints. 

 

Standards Committee on 5th December 2013 resolved "That the Monitoring Officer draft a proposed Local Dispute Resolution Procedure incorporating elements of examples of such procedures attached as appendices to the report, but not being confined to these documents for consideration at the next meeting of the Committee".

 

Attached at Appendix A to the report was a revised Local Dispute Resolution Procedure which, in summary, incorporated a three stage process summarised as follows:

 

·         Stage 1 – determination by Monitoring Officer or Deputy Monitoring Officer of whether the Procedure was applicable.

·         Stage 2 – conciliation meeting held to attempt to resolve the matter.

·         Stage 3 – hearing before an independent member of the Standards Committee, advised by the Monitoring Officer or Deputy Monitoring Officer.

 

Having considered the report, it was

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Local Dispute Resolution Procedure for the Vale of Glamorgan Council as attached at Appendix A to the report be agreed.

 

(2)       T H A T the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Group Leaders be consulted regarding the contents of the Local Dispute Resolution Procedure.

 

(3)       T H A T the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Chair of the Standards Committee, be given delegated authority to consider the comments from the Group Leaders and amend the Local Dispute Resolution Procedure if deemed appropriate.

 

(4)       T H A T, subject to any amendments in light of Resolution (3) above, the Local Dispute Resolution Procedure be referred to Council with a recommendation that it be incorporated into the Council’s Constitution.

 

(5)       T H A T a progress report be submitted to the next meeting of the Standards Committee.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-4)    To address the recommendations of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales to adopt a Local Dispute Resolution Procedure for dealing with low level Member-against-Member complaints.

 

(5)       To ensure that Standards Committee is kept informed.

 

 

1055            DECLARATION OF INTERESTS (MO) –

 

Committee were updated regarding correspondence dispatched to Clerks to Town and Community Councils. 

 

At the last meeting of the Committee, it came to the attention of the Standards Committee that there were occasions when Members leave meetings and there was confusion over whether a Member had a personal and prejudicial interest in an item under discussion and if so, the nature of the interest. 

 

In the light of the above, the Monitoring Officer wrote to all Clerks of the Vale of Glamorgan Town and Community Councils, requesting where appropriate that Members be reminded of the provisions of paragraph 11 of the Members’ Model Code of Conduct and, more particularly, paragraph 11.1 which provided as follows:

 

"Where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority and you attend a meeting at which that business is considered, you must disclose orally to that meeting the existence and nature of that interest before or at the commencement of that consideration, or when the interest becomes apparent."

 

The Clerks were reminded that paragraph 11.1 was to be considered in conjunction with the additional provisions in the Members’ Code of Conduct and not in isolation. 

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the correspondence sent by the Monitoring Officer to all Clerks of the Vale of Glamorgan Town and Community Councils regarding declaration of interests be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure compliance with the Members’ Code of Conduct by Town and Community Councillors and to update Committee.

 

 

1056           AUDIT BRIEFS (MO) –

 

Committee were informed of relevant audit work to be undertaken as part of the Internal Audit Plan for 2014/15. 

 

Audit briefs had been discussed and agreed as detailed at Appendices A and B to the report. 

 

Committee noted that the objectives of the Audits were:

 

·         To ensure compliance to the Council’s Constitution / Code of Conduct in relation to the declaration and acceptance of any gifts or hospitality by both officers and Members

·         To ensure Members’ compliance to the Code of Conduct in relation to declarations of interest and dispensations granted  / refused by the Standards Committee.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the outcome of the Audits be reported to a future meeting of the Standards Committee.

 

(3)       T H A T a report be brought before a future meeting of the Committee outlining what constituted "hospitality".

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To keep Committee apprised of the intended Audits and, in due course, their outcomes.

 

(3)       For the information of Committee.

 

 

1057            WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY AND PROCEDURES (MO) –

 

Committee were informed of a recent review undertaken of the Council’s Whistleblowing Policy and associated procedure.

 

A copy of the revised Policy was attached at Appendix 1 to the report and reflected the following:

 

·         The changes implemented by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013

·         Guidance for workers and line managers to assist with reporting concerns under the Policy

·         Protection for the "Whistleblower" subject to the disclosure meeting the public interest test

·         Guidance for the "Whistleblower" to raise their concerns externally, if appropriate

·         Where to obtain free confidential and independent legal advice

·         Guidance to assist both the worker and the manager in registering and progressing Whistleblowing concerns within the Council

·         Confirmation of the protection arrangements that the "Whistleblower" will achieve

·         The approach to be undertaken in response to concerns and allegations raised anonymously including confidential reporting arrangements

·         Provides assistance to workers and managers enabling them to distinguish between concerns which are personal and relate only to the individual rather than wrongdoing of a more general nature

·         National guidance contained within the Department for Business Innovations and Skills document entitled "Blowing the Whistle to a Prescribed Person"

·         The Wales Audit Office leaflet "Are you concerned about wrongdoing where you work?".

 

Having noted an amendment to change the word "public" for "protected" at paragraph 2 on page 3 of Appendix B to the Cabinet report, Cabinet resolved on 24th March 2014:

 

(1)       That the amended Whistleblowing Policy (including the Leader’s change above) as attached at Appendix B to the report, its administration and the reporting procedures be approved.

 

(2)       That the draft Whistleblowing Policy be referred to a meeting of Full Council for inclusion in the Council’s Constitution.

 

(3)       That the additional information appended to the draft Policy to assist workers and their line managers who may be working under a collaborative agreement to raise Whistleblowing concerns with the appropriate organisations when the employment or the service responsibility falls outside that of the Council be noted.

 

Having considered the report, it was

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To apprise Committee of the revised Whistleblowing Policy and reporting procedures.

 

 

1058          MATTER WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WAS URGENT –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the following matter which the Chairman had decided was urgent for the reason given beneath the minute heading be considered.

 

 

1059            VOLUNTARY CAP ON INDEMNITIES FOR MEMBERS (REF) –

(Urgent by reason of the need to avoid undue delay in making a decision on this matter)

 

Cabinet, on 7th April 2014, was informed of a request by the Welsh Local Government Association ("WLGA"), the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales ("Ombudsman") and Welsh Government Ministers for Welsh Unitary Authorities to introduce a voluntary cap on legal costs indemnities to Members when defending alleged breaches of the Members code of conduct.

 

The report also sought approval for arrangements to consider and (if appropriate) grant such indemnities.

 

Under the Local Authorities (Indemnities for Members and Officers) (Wales) Order 2006, the Council could but did not have to provide an indemnity for Members in respect of legal costs incurred in relation to misconduct proceedings brought against them under the Local Government Act 2000.

 

Concern had been expressed by the WLGA, the Ombudsman and Welsh Government Ministers of the scale of indemnities provided by some Welsh Councils to Members when defending allegations of breaches of the Members' Code of Conduct.  All recommended that a cap be introduced by Councils.  After some consultation it was agreed to set the cap up to a maximum sum of £20,000.

 

By adopting the recommendation, the Council would bring its procedure for granting indemnities in line with the majority of Welsh Councils.

 

The report outlined that when considering applications for indemnities the following restrictions were (as a minimum) deemed appropriate:

 

·         A Member should not be granted two or more indemnities if those indemnities would amount to a sum in excess of £30,000 in any one municipal term;

·         In the event of an indemnity being given and the Member concerned not being successful in the matter the indemnity must in any event be repaid;

·         The indemnity related only to legal costs reasonably incurred by the Member on or after the date of the application;

·         The indemnity extended only to costs reasonably incurred up to and including the hearing before the Adjudication Panel for Wales ("APW").  It did not extend to any appeal against, or to any judicial review of any decision of the APW.

·         No payments would be made under the indemnity until the completion of the hearing and of any appeal.

·         Payment under the indemnity should be made only on the submission of a receipted invoice for the costs being claimed.

 

Cabinet had resolved –

 

(1)       That the Council's Section 151 Officer be given delegated authority in consultation with the Chair of the Standards Committee to consider applications received from Members of the Council for a legal costs indemnity for defending an allegation of breach of the Members' Code of Conduct, and determine whether an indemnity should be provided by the Council.

 

(2)       That if an indemnity was to be granted the amount be limited up to a maximum of £20,000 subject to the further limitations referred to in paragraph 10 of the report.

 

(3)       That the report be referred to Standards Committee for information.

 

Having considered the reference from Cabinet, Standards Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the decision of Cabinet.

 

 

1060            EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

 

1061            INVESTIGATION OF A COMPLAINT AGAINST COUNCILLOR A OF A COMMUNITY COUNCIL (MO) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12 AND 13) –

 

Committee considered a copy of the Acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ Investigation Report in respect of an investigation into a complaint against Community Councillor A. 

 

Committee were requested to make an initial determination whether or not there was evidence that Community Councillor A failed, or may have failed, to comply with the relevant Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct. 

 

Having considered the report, Committee

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T Community Councillor A be given the opportunity to make representations at a future meeting of the Standards Committee, either orally or in writing, in respect of the findings of the investigation and any complaint that he had failed, or may have failed, to comply with the Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct.

 

(2)       T H A T the Acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ Investigation Officer be requested to attend the Standards Committee in line with Regulations 8(3A) and 8(3C) of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001. 

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1)       To comply with the provisions of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

 

(2)       In line with the provisions of the 2001 Regulations.

 

 

1062            INVESTIGATION OF A COMPLAINT AGAINST COUNCILLOR B OF A COMMUNITY COUNCIL (MO) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12 AND 13) –

 

Committee considered a copy of the Acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ Investigation Report in respect of an investigation into a complaint against Community Councillor B. 

 

Committee were requested to make an initial determination whether or not there was evidence that Community Councillor B failed, or may have failed, to comply with the relevant Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct. 

 

Having considered the report, Committee

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T Community Councillor B be given the opportunity to make representations at a future meeting of the Standards Committee, either orally or in writing, in respect of the findings of the investigation and any complaint that he had failed, or may have failed, to comply with the Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct.

 

(2)       T H A T the Acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ Investigation Officer be requested to attend the Standards Committee in line with Regulations 8(3A) and 8(3C) of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001. 

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1)       To comply with the provisions of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

 

(2)       In line with the provisions of the 2001 Regulations.

 

 

1063            INVESTIGATION OF A COMPLAINT AGAINST COUNCILLOR C OF A COMMUNITY COUNCIL (DMO) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12 AND 13) –

 

Committee considered a copy of the Acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ Investigation Report in respect of an investigation into a complaint against Community Councillor C. 

 

Committee were requested to make an initial determination whether or not there was evidence that Community Councillor C failed, or may have failed, to comply with the relevant Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct. 

 

Having considered the report, Committee

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T Community Councillor C be given the opportunity to make representations at a future meeting of the Standards Committee, either orally or in writing, in respect of the findings of the investigation and any complaint that he had failed, or may have failed, to comply with the Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct.

 

(2)       T H A T the Acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ Investigation Officer be requested to attend the Standards Committee in line with Regulations 8(3A) and 8(3C) of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001. 

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1)       To comply with the provisions of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

 

(2)       In line with the provisions of the 2001 Regulations.