Top

Top

STANDARDS COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 13th July, 2017.

 

Present:  Mr. A.G. Hallett (Chairman); Mr. D. Carsley, Mr. A. Lane, Councillors B.T. Gray and Mrs. A. Moore.

 

 

141     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

This was received from Councillor Mrs. R Nugent-Finn.  

 

 

142     MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 1st June, 2017 be approved as a correct record, subject to it being noted that Mr. D. Carsley had tendered his apologies.

 

 

143     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

144     DELEGATED POWERS TO CONSIDER APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION (MO) –

 

The Committee was apprised of the recent use of the Monitoring Officer’s delegated power in consultation with the Chairman of the Standards Committee, the delegated power having been granted by Full Council on 1st March, 2017. 

 

On 29th June, 2017 the Monitoring Officer received a Dispensation Application from Councillor R. Crowley to speak and vote at Vale of Glamorgan Council meetings where matters relating to the review of Council employment terms and conditions are considered in view of his step-daughters being employed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council until the next Local Government Elections (paragraphs (d), (e) and (f)).

 

Having been made aware that Councillor Crowley was shortly to Chair a meeting where issues regarding terms and conditions of employees were to be discussed and that such applications had been approved by the Standards Committee previously, the Monitoring Officer consulted the Chairman and the application was granted under paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) until the next local government elections.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the use of the Monitoring Officer’s delegated power in consultation with the Chairman of the Standards Committee be noted and endorsed.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the current situation and compliance with delegated powers.

 

 

145     APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION (MO) –

 

The Standards Committee (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 permitted Members to apply to a 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. 

 

Councillor David Reed from Llangan Community Council was also present at the meeting to present his application to the Committee and to expand on his previous application which had been granted to speak only.  Councillor Reed stated that he was one of only two Councillors for Llangan on the Llangan Community Council and as both had been granted to speak only at meetings they considered that they could not therefore represent their constituents fairly.  The Monitoring Officer informed  the Standards Committee that the electorate for the Community Council area was 636 and that the numbers for Llangan equated to 487.  Therefore Llangan made up the majority of the electorate for the Community Council.  Councillor Reed stated that his main aim was to ensure that the views of the residents were conveyed.  The Monitoring Officer, in referring to the circumstances when a Standards Committee may grant dispensations, advised of the circumstance “it appears to the Standards Committee to be in the interests of the inhabitants of the area of the Council that the disability should be removed”.  The Monitoring Officer also reminded the Standards Committee of the guidance issued by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales regarding the determination of applications.  The Standards Committee therefore had the ability to afford discretion where it considered it appropriate to do so.

 

Following consideration of a number of applications contained within the report, it was

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T dispensations as set out in the schedule below be granted up to the date of the next Local Government Elections:

 

Member Requesting Dispensation

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

Decision

Councillor P. King

(c) and (d)

To speak and vote on topics at both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Llandough Community Council connected with the reshaping of services and possible transfer to Llandough Community Council

Councillor P. King -

(c) and (d)

To speak and vote on matters at both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Llandough Community Council connected with the Vale of Glamorgan Council Corporate Plan 2016-2020

Councillor P. King

(c), (d) and (e)

To speak and vote on matters at both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Llandough Community Council connected with motorcycling and other forms of powered 2-wheeled transport, save for the Motorcycle Action Lobby Group. 

 

In order that the Committee can fully consider the application relating to the Motorcycle Action Group, Councillor   King be requested to provide further clarification on the reason for   dispensation sought from the Standards Committee.

Town Councillor Mrs. M. Arnold

(c), (d) and (i)

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

Town Councillor Mrs. G. Baty

(c), (d) and (i)

To speak and vote at any Cowbridge   with Llanblethian Town Council meetings on all discussions on the LDP except for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate site and Darren Farm.

Town Councillor Mrs. N. Thomas  

(e)

To speak and vote at any Cowbridge   with Llanblethian Town Council meetings during discussions involving the Local Development Plan, with the exception of the piece of land, namely   MG2(19), land adjoining St. Athan Road, Cowbridge and the Darren Farm development.

 

Applicant to also be advised that if circumstances change to make a further application to the Committee for its consideration.

Community Councillor D. Reed

(i)

To speak and vote at any Llangan   Community Council meetings on the issue of the proposed (LDP) travellers site in Llangan.

Community Councillor D. Crompton

(i)

To speak only at any St. Athan Community Council meetings on matters relating to St. Athan Community Hub and Library (SACHaL) including grant applications.

Community Councillor D. Willmot

(i)

To speak only at any St. Athan Community Council meetings on matters relating to St. Athan Community Hub and Library (SACHaL) including grant applications.

 

(2)       T H A T with regard to the applications from Councillors P. Carreyett, B. Hill, M. Edwards and Dr. M. Misra, the Clerk of Llandough Community Council and / or a representative of the Councillors be requested to attend the next meeting of the Standards Committee to further clarify the dispensation sought prior to the Committee making a decision on the matter.  The Committee wished to understand the Councillors’ role in relation to the Llandough and Leckwith War Hall Memorial Committee.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

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

 

(2)       In order to seek further clarification prior to making a decision.

 

 

146     MODEL LOCAL RESOLUTION PROTOCOL FOR COMMUNITY AND TOWN COUNCILS (MO) –

 

The Standards Committee were advised of the Model Protocol that had been drawn up by One Voice Wales which any Community and Town Council could use in dealing with complaints. 

 

At a recent conference of all-Wales Monitoring Officers, a presentation regarding the Model Local Resolution Protocol for Community and Town Councils was presented and a copy of the document was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  At that meeting, it was also noted that the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales (the Ombudsman) had agreed to the principle of referring some complaints against Members by Community and Town Councils, for local resolution.  However, as there had not been a common process for Community and Town Councils to follow in dealing with such matters, One Voice Wales had drawn up the document as a Model Protocol which any Community and Town Council could use in dealing with such complaints.  All the Monitoring Officers present at the conference endorsed the use of the Protocol.

 

The Model was meant as a starting point for Town and Community Councils with individual Councils being able to add or amend the Model to suit their particular needs.  The Protocol covered issues that should be considered under the process and issues that should not be considered under the process as outlined below: 

  • Issues which should be considered under the process

Low level complaints about Members including:

-      Minor complaints from Members about Members

-      Minor complaints from Officers about Members

-      Members alleged to have not shown respect and consideration for others – either verbally or in writing. 

  • Issues which should not be considered under this process

Complaints which must be directed to the Ombudsman, including:

-      Complaints instigated by a member of the public

-      Serious complaints – breaches of the Code of Conduct / failure to disclose interests / bullying / abuse of position or trust / repeated breaches

-      Complaints made by the Clerk / Proper Officer

-      Vexatious, malicious or frivolous complaints

-      Members' complaints about officers which should be dealt with using the Council's internal complaints process

-      Repetitive low level complaints.

 

The Protocol advised that a complaint would need to be sent to the Clerk / Proper Officer of the Town / Community Council to undertake a first sift to ensure that the complaint was at a low level and should not be dealt with by way of a complaint to the Ombudsman. 

 

The Monitoring Officer, in advising that two Councils (Llandough and Penarth) had advised that they had adopted the Protocol, informed the Standards Committee that she was aware that Sully and Lavernock Community Council were shortly due to consider the Protocol at a forthcoming Community Council meeting. 

 

The Standards Committee Members, in considering the Protocol, agreed that it was a good document that should be supported. 

 

Having considered the report, it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T all Town and Community Councils in the Vale of Glamorgan be recommended to consider adopting the Model Local Resolution Protocol or to use the Model version to draw up their own Protocol.

 

(2)       T H A T the Monitoring Officer ensure that Resolution (1) above is forwarded to all Town and Community Councils for their consideration.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       In recognition of the Protocol being accepted by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

 

(2)       To ensure that all Town and Community Councils are fully aware of the document and the views of the Standards Committee recommending it for use.

 

 

147     VALE OF GLAMORGAN ICT CODE OF CONDUCT (MO) –

 

At the last meeting of the Standards Committee it was agreed that the Vale of Glamorgan ICT Code of Conduct (attached to the report at Appendix 1) be presented to the Standards Committee for its information in order that there was an awareness by the Standards Committee of the parameters for the use of ICT equipment by Members of the Council.  A further document entitled “Using Information Technology at the Council” attached at Appendix 2 to the report was also presented for the Committee’s consideration.  Both documents had been approved by the Council’s Cabinet.

 

Councillor Anne Moore advised that she had requested that the documents be placed before the Committee, as they were important documents that she felt the Standards Committee should be aware of following the recent issuing of Council ICT equipment to all Members of the Council since the Local Government elections.  

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ICT Code of Conduct dated April 2016 and the Council’s document entitled “Using Information Technology at the Council” dated April 2017 be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee recommends that all Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council be sent an e-mail link to the document “Using Information Technology at the Council” from the Standards Committee to raise further awareness.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       Having considered the contents of the report.

 

(2)       To raise awareness of the parameters of use.

 

 

148     ANNOUNCEMENT –

 

Following recent interviews by the Appointments Panel of the Standards Committee,  the Monitoring Officer advised that the Standards Committee Appointments Committee had met that morning and agreed to the recommendation of the Panel and appointed two new Independent Members, namely Mrs. P. Hallett and Mrs. L. Tinsley to the Standards Committee.  The Appointments Committee had also confirmed the appointment of Councillor M. Cuddy as the Town and Community Councillor representative on the Standards Committee.

 

In conclusion, the Chairman took the opportunity to thank all the Members of the Standards Committee who had supported him during his term of office which was  now coming to an end and to the support which he had received from the Monitoring Officer. it being noted that under the Regulations, a Standards Committee Independent Member can only serve for two terms of office.  The Members of the Committee and the Monitoring Officer also took the opportunity to thank Mr. Hallett for his support and guidance to the Standards Committee and to herself as Monitoring Officer. 

 

 

 

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook