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Agenda Item No. 6

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Council: 5th March, 2014

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Reallocation of Seats on Committees

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To consider an adjustment to the allocation of seats in order, so far as is practicable, to maintain overall political balance, in the light of the increase in the Independent Group from four to five members.

Recommendations

1.         That a reallocation of seats on Committees as set out in paragraphs 4 and 5 below be agreed and the Plaid Cymru Group indicate which seats are to be given up.

2.         That, in accordance with the arrangements regarding Senior Salaries agreed at the Annual Meeting in May 2013, Councillor Penrose become entitled to a Group Leader salary. 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To comply with the requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 in terms of political balance.

2.         To accord with the Council's existing scheme for Senior Salaries. 

Background

2.         Section 15(5) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 requires that the total number of seats across all Committees should, as far as practicable, reflect the political balance of the Council.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         The Independent Group has recently increased in size from four to five members as a result of Councillor Chris Williams joining the Group.  As a result, it is necessary to recalculate the allocation of seats falling to each political group to comply with the legislation alluded to above.

4.         Appendix A sets out the entitlement to seats prior to Councillor Williams leaving the Plaid Cymru Group to join the Independent Group.  Since that calculation was made, the Welsh Government has indicated that the Central South Joint Education Service Joint Scrutiny Committee will not, in fact, be coming into existence.  This is due to revised governance arrangements having been set out by Welsh Government.  Members are also reminded that Council in December 2013 agreed the establishment of a sub-committee of the Democratic Services Committee to hear and determine any complaints from Members regarding a refusal by the Head of Democratic Services to grant family absence.  For ease of reference, therefore, Appendix B sets out the revised calculation taking into account these matters.  It can be seen that the overall number of seats on which the calculation is based increases by just one, from 209 to 210.

5.         The actual effect of the recalculation is that the Plaid Cymru group is required to give a total of 5 seats, 4 of which are to be allocated to the Independent Group and 1 to the Labour Group. 

6.         At the Annual Meeting on 15th May 2013 it was resolved that the Council continue to pay a total of 16 Senior Salaries, together with Civic Salaries to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.  The 16 Senior Salaries included Group Leaders (in respect of Groups comprising 10% or more of the total membership of the Council - at that time the Conservative and Plaid Cymru Groups).  The overall number of Senior Salaries the Council is able to pay (excluding the Mayor and Deputy Mayor) is 18.  As the Independent Group now comprises 5 members, subject to the approval of Council, Councillor Penrose will also be entitled to a Senior Salary as Group Leader.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         Should the Council agree to the payment of an additional Senior Salary, the cost will be £3,745 (i.e. the difference between a basic salary and Group Leader salary).

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.         The Council, as far as practicable, is required to comply with the requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 in terms of political balance requirements.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.      None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.      None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.      Not applicable.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.      Changes to the composition, membership and the terms of reference of committees, and any consequential changes to the Constitution, are matters for Council to determine.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.      Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Report to Council: 26th June 2013

 

Contact Officer

Jeff Wyatt, 01446 709408

 

Officers Consulted

None.

 

Responsible Officer:

Siân Davies, Managing Director