Agenda Item No. 7
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
ANNUAL MEETING: 24TH MAY, 2017
REPORT OF THE MANAGING DIRECTOR
SCRUTINY COMMITTEES: APPOINTMENT, MEMBERSHIP, TERMS OF REFERENCE AND ALLOCATION OF CHAIRMEN POSITIONS
Council agreed at the Annual Meeting in 2015 the procedure to be used to determine the allocation of seats across Committees (as summarised in Appendix A).
Appendix B is the calculation relating to the political balance requirement for Committees in accordance with the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. The Regulatory Services Joint Committee has not been included in the list as Full Council previously appointed two specific Members to be the Council’s representatives. Similarly, whilst the Public Protection Licensing Committee is included, the Statutory Licensing Committee is not as it does not need to be politically balanced (although it can be and, in fact, is) as it does not constitute a Committee created under the Local Government Act 1972. Furthermore, the membership of both committees is the same and, as such, only one need count in terms of the overall political balance calculations.
Attached at Appendix C is an extract from Section 7 of the Constitution which sets out the terms of reference, general role and specific functions of the Scrutiny Committees.
A requirement exists, under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011, regarding the allocation of Scrutiny Committee Chairmen positions. In essence, any Group, or Groups, represented on the Executive are entitled (when taken together) to a proportion of Scrutiny Committee Chairmen positions equivalent to their total number of seats (when taken together) on the Council. Once this calculation has been done, the remaining Scrutiny Committee Chairmen positions become the "property" of the non-executive Groups (again, to be allocated proportionate to the total number of seats held by the respective Groups on the Council).
In calculating the above, the Measure provides that the figure relating to a Group, or Groups, represented on the Executive must, in all cases, be rounded down. The figure for non-executive allocations is to be rounded up, or down, as appropriate to the nearest whole number, including zero.
As such, the allocation for the appointment of the five Scrutiny Committee Chairmen positions (based on each Group’s percentage of the Council) is as follows:
Conservative – 51.06% = 2.55 = (rounded down) 2
Labour - 29.79% = 1.49 = 1 = (rounded down) = 1
Plaid Cymru - 8.51% = 0.43 = (rounded down) = 0
Llantwit First Independents - 8.51% = 0.43 = (rounded down) = 0
It can be seen from the above that two of the five Scrutiny Committee Chairmen positions therefore currently stand unallocated. The Welsh Government Statutory Guidance on the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 (issued in June 2012) provides for such a situation. The Statutory Guidance provides that, should there be any unallocated Chairs following the use of the formula to calculate entitlement, then the position(s) is to be appointed by the Members of that Committee(s). That will need to be done at the first meeting of the respective two Committees
The Leader of the Conservative Group has confirmed the Group will be taking up the Chairmen positions on the following Scrutiny Committees:
Corporate Performance and Resources
Environment and Regeneration
The Leader of the Labour Group will notify Council which Scrutiny Committee Chairman position the Group will take up.
As indicated above, the two remaining positions will then be determined at the first meeting of the respective Committees.
Council is recommended to endorse the allocation of specific Scrutiny Committee Chairman as notified by the relevant Group Leaders.
RECOMMENDED – T H A T
(1) The Scrutiny Committees, together with their Membership and Terms of Reference, be appointed for the ensuing municipal year.
(2) The Council endorse the allocation of specific Scrutiny Committee Chairmen as notified by the relevant Group Leaders.
(3) The two remaining Scrutiny Chairmen positions be determined at the first meeting of the respective Committees.
Local Government and Housing Act 1989
Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990
Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011
Jeff Wyatt, Tel: 01446 709408
Head of Democratic Services
Rob Thomas, Managing Director