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Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Council Meeting: 26th June, 2013

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Central South Joint Education Service: Joint Scrutiny Committee

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To apprise Members of progress towards the establishment of arrangements for joint scrutiny of the Central South Joint Education Service.

Recommendation

THAT the Council appoint two Members to sit on a Joint Scrutiny Committee in respect of the Central South Joint Education Service.

Reason for the Recommendation

To facilitate the Council's involvement in joint scrutiny arrangements.

 

Background

2.             The Welsh Government is encouraging local authorities to establish joint scrutiny arrangements to support robust governance of the increased range of services delivered in partnership with other Councils or public, third sector or private organisations.  With this in mind, it is considered opportune to establish such arrangements in respect of the Central South Joint Education Service. 

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             For some time, Scrutiny Officers from the five constituent authorities (Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan) have been in discussion regarding the potential establishment of a Joint Scrutiny Committee.  An officer funded by the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) is also involved in the project and has been engaged in the drawing up of suggested draft Terms of Reference and Working Principles.

4.             In addition to facilitating scrutiny of the service itself, it is considered that there would also be an opportunity for both Members and officers to learn how to scrutinise a regional consortium and to develop practices and procedures that could be applied to other future partnership arrangements that the Council might enter into.  Arrangements will need to provide for scrutiny of education services allowing strategic issues affecting all five authorities to be scrutinised at a regional level, whilst still allowing issues pertinent to any one authority to be scrutinised at a single Council level.

5.             Whilst discussions are ongoing in terms of finalising the Terms of Reference and Working Principles, the Council is asked to consider the appointment of two Members to sit on the Joint Scrutiny Committee once established.  In doing so, Members' attention is drawn to the recent issuing by the Welsh Government of the Local Authorities (Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2013.  Those Regulations govern the procedures which are to be followed by local authorities in establishing joint scrutiny arrangements and include the following provisions:  

"5.-(1)    The persons eligible for appointment as members of a joint overview and scrutiny committee in accordance with regulation 3(1) are -

(a)          members, other than executive members, of the appointing authorities; and

(b)          persons appointed in accordance with paragraph 8 or 9 of Schedule 1 to the2000 Act to an overview and scrutiny committee of any of the appointing authorities.

(2)          The members of a joint overview and scrutiny committee appointed in accordance with regulation 3(1) must comprise an equal number of persons from each of the appointing authorities.

(3)          A Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee is not to be regarded as a body to which Section 15 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (1) (Duty to Allocate Seats to Political Groups) applies.

(4)          Each appointing authority must ensure that, as far as practicable, the members of a joint overview and scrutiny committee who fall within paragraph (1)(a) reflect the balance of political groups for the time being prevailing among the members of the appointing authority."

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

6.             There are no direct implications arising from the report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

7.             There are no direct implications arising from the report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8.             The Council is required to comply with the provisions of the Local Authorities (Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2013 in participating in any joint overview and scrutiny arrangements.

Crime and Disorder Implications

9.             None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10.        None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

11.        As indicated above, arrangements will need to provide for scrutiny of education services allowing strategic issues affecting all five authorities to be scrutinised at a regional level, whilst still allowing issues pertinent to any one authority to be scrutinised at a single Council level.

Policy Framework and Budget

12.        The appointment of Members to Committees is a matter for Full Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

13.        This is an internal matter and, therefore, no external consultation procedure is necessary.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

14.        Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

Local Authorities (Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2013.

 

Contact Officer

Jeff Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services

Tel: 01446 709408

E-mail: jrwyatt@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

 

Officers Consulted

Chief Learning and Skills Officer.

Head of Legal Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Siân Davies

Managing Director

 

 

 

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