Agenda Item No. 6
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Council : 25 June 2014
Report of the Monitoring Officer
Protocol - Standard of Conduct Expected by Members
Purpose of the Report
1. To consider the 'Protocol - Standard of Conduct Expected by Members'.
THAT the 'Protocol - Standard of Conduct Expected by Members' attached at Appendix A to this report be agreed and incorporated into the Council's Constitution as part of the ongoing work in reviewing the New Welsh Model Constitution.
Reasons for the Recommendation
With a view to promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by councillors and co-opted members.
2. Standards Committee agreed at its meeting on 11 April 2014 the 'Protocol - Standard of Conduct Expected by Members' (the 'Protocol') attached at Appendix A. At the request of the Standards Committee, Members of the Council's New Welsh Model Constitution Working Party have been consulted regarding the Protocol. No amendments to Appendix A have been suggested.
Relevant Issues and Options
3. The purpose of the Protocol is to establish a benchmark of behaviour which is acceptable between Members. It is not intended to replace the Members' Code of Conduct but to sit alongside it and fill the gap between behaviour which possibly in itself is not serious, but creates unpleasantness between Council Members, and behaviour that is approaching the threshold of being serious enough for the Ombudsman to hold an investigation.
4. Low level complaints of breach of the Protocol may be dealt with via the Local Dispute Resolution Procedure (which is reported separately on this agenda).
5. Gwynedd Council and Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council adopted a similar Protocol in 2010 and 2011 respectively as part of introducing their local dispute resolution procedure for dealing with complaints concerning Members. As a result of those Councils' experiences, consideration is being given by the remaining 20 Local Authorities in Wales to incorporate the Protocol into their respective constitutions.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
6. None directly associated with this report.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
8. As set out in this report.
Crime and Disorder Implications
9. None directly arising from this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
10. The Protocol reinforces the expectation of Members to show respect to diversity and equality.
11. The Constitution is part of the framework supporting the Council's commitment to provide political leadership and active relationship and engagement.
Policy Framework and Budget
12. The adoption and subsequent changing of the Constitution is a matter for the full Council.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
13. Members of the New Model Welsh Constitution Working Party have been consulted.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
New Model Welsh Constitution.
Report to the Standards Committee on 5 December 2013 entitled New Welsh Model Constitution.
Report to the Standards Committee on 11 April 2014 entitled Protocol - Standard of Conduct Expected by Members.
Debbie Marles - Head of Legal Services
01446 709402 email DMarles@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk
Head of Democratic Services
Debbie Marles - Head of Legal Services (and Monitoring Officer)