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Agenda Item No. 11d

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

COUNCIL MEETING: 27 APRIL 2016

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET:  25 APRIL 2016

 

C3163                        EUROPEAN UNION REFERENDUM AND WELSH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION POSITION (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Matter which the Chairman had decided was urgent by reason of the need to make an urgent decision.

 

Cabinet was advised of the receipt of correspondence from the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) in respect of the European Union (EU) referendum and to adopt a position in relation to the referendum.

 

The WLGA Co-ordinating Committee received a report on 24 March, 2016 which updated Members on the referendum on UK membership of the EU. A copy of a recent letter dated 15 April, 2016 from Councillor Bob Bright (spokesperson on European Affairs) sought feedback on the stance being adopted by individual Councils in the run up to the EU Referendum.

 

Copies of the letter and attached proforma for feedback and the report to the Coordinating Committee were attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

The attached proforma sought feedback on whether the authority had adopted or planned to adopt a final position on the issue of the EU Referendum.  The first issue to consider was therefore whether the authority ought to adopt a stance and the report recommended that the authority support the WLGA stance and commitment for the UK to remain a member of the EU.

 

The proforma also sought further details on a number of questions (2 through to 6) and an attempt had been made to provide a draft response for the consideration of Cabinet.  In summary reference was made to:

 

•           The fact that the steps taken by the authority in publicising the referendum would be those normally taken in relation to any election or referendum.

•           That it would be a matter for individual members to support and/or promote any campaigns.  However, in doing so it would be appreciated that council facilities were not to be used for party political or campaigning purposes.

 

•           That the activities planned as part of Europe Day would not differ from any other year.

 

•           Examples were also given as to how the EU membership had benefited the economy of the Vale of Glamorgan area as well as other benefits (questions 5 and 6).

 

At the meeting the Counting Officer left the room and took no part in any discussions that took place on this matter.

 

After this item was presented, the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services stated that he would abstain from voting on this matter as he felt he did not have enough information to make an informed decision, he added that in his opinion the EU Referendum was distracting from the forthcoming Welsh Government Elections.

 

All other Members of the Cabinet confirmed that they supported the Welsh Local Government’s stance on staying in the European Union in the forthcoming Referendum and were happy to refer the report to Council for consideration.

 

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T subject to consideration by Council on 27 April, 2016 the Welsh Local Government Association stance in relation to supporting the EU Referendum be supported.

 

(2)       T H A T subject to consideration by Council on 27 April, 2016 the proposed response to the Welsh Local Government Association attached at Appendix 1 to the report be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T the use of Article 14.14 of the Council's Constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised to submit the report to Council on 27 April, 2016.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To consider the Council's stance in relation to the EU referendum.

 

(2)       To agree a proposed response to the WLGA.

 

(3)       To enable the matter to be considered by Council on 27 April, 2016.

 

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