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Agenda Item No. 6.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Council: 24th June 2015

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Independent Member Serving on the Council's Standards Committee

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To seek the approval of Council to an extension to the term of office of one of the independent members of the Council's Standards Committee.

Recommendation

That Mr. J.F. Baker be appointed for a further term of four years to take effect on the expiry of his current term of office.

Reason for the Recommendation

To maintain continuity of membership.

 

Background

2.         The appointment of independent members is governed by the Standards Committee (Wales) Regulations 2001 ("the Regulations").  Paragraph 20 of the Regulations provides that the term of office of a member of the Standards Committee who is an independent member of the Committee shall be not less than four nor more than six years.

3.         The Council has five independent members, three (Mr. D. Carsley, Mr. A.J. Lane and Mrs. M.J. Pearce) whose terms of office will expire on 13th March 2019, one (Mr. J. Baker) whose term of office will expire on 15th September 2015 and one  (Mr. A.G. Hallett) whose term will expire on 19th July 2017.

4.         Mr. Baker was appointed to the Standards Committee on 16th September, 2011 for a period of four years.

5.         The Welsh Assembly Government issued amendment Regulations in 2006 providing for a second term of office for independent members, given its view that the operation of the original Regulations preventing an independent member serving more than one term was unreasonably restrictive and was causing practical difficulties.

6.         Apart from the lengthy process of recruiting independent members, a number of authorities had experienced difficulties in appointing members and many felt that the experience gained by such members over the first years following their appointment to the Standards Committee would be lost if authorities were required to appoint and train new members. 

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         The main amendments introduced in 2006 which affected the Council's current working arrangements in respect of independent members were as follows:

  • An independent member of the Standards Committee of a relevant authority may be reappointed by the relevant authority for one further consecutive term which shall not exceed four years.
  • In reappointing an independent member, the Council is not obliged to comply with the advertising and recruitment requirements imposed by the 2001 Regulations.
  • No business shall be transacted at a meeting of the Standards Committee unless -

(a)          at least three members are present, including the chairperson; and

(b)          at least half the members present (including the chairperson) are independent members.

 

8.         The Council has exercised this power in the past in respect of the Chairman of the Standards Committee, Mr. Hallett, and also Mr. Carsley, Mr. Lane and Mrs. Pearce.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9.         None.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10.      None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.      As set out in the body of the report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.      None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.      None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.      To ensure the Standards Committee is constituted in accordance with Welsh Assembly Government Regulations.

Policy Framework and Budget

15.      Not applicable.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.      Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.      None.

Background Papers

 

Contact Officer

Mr. C. Hope (01446 709855), e-mail: chope@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

 

Officers Consulted

Mr. R. Thomas, Managing Director

 

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer

 

 

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