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Agenda Item No. 3

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee: 24th July 2012

 

Report of the Chief Executive

 

Designation of Head of Democratic Services

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To comply with the requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 with regard to the requirement to designate an officer to undertake the new statutory role of Head of Democratic Services.

Recommendation

That the Operational Manager (Democratic Services) be designated as Head of Democratic Services for the purposes of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 and his job description amended to include the designation.

Reason for the Recommendation

To ensure the Council complies with the requirement of the Measure regarding the designation of an officer to undertake the duties of "Head of Democratic Services".

Background

2.             A Measure is a piece of law made by the Welsh Assembly.  It has similar effect to an Act of Parliament.  The Assembly is able to pass Measures on any "matter" on which power to legislate has been devolved to it by the UK Government. 

3.             The purpose of the Measure is to make provision to strengthen the structures and working of local government in Wales at all levels and to ensure that local Councils reach out to, and engage with, all sectors of the community they serve.  The Measure consists of 179 sections and is extremely wide-ranging.  The key elements of the Measure were highlighted in a report to Cabinet on 8th June, 2011 and, more recently, an update was provided to Cabinet on 28th March, 2012.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             One of the requirements of Measure 2011 required local authorities to establish a Democratic Services Committee and for that Committee to designate an Officer as Head of Democratic Services.

5.             The composition and terms of reference of the Democratic Services Committee were agreed at the Annual Meeting of Council on 23rd May 2012. The Head of Democratic Services designation will be a statutory role to undertake the functions set out on the Measure.  In summary the functions will include:

·         Providing support and advice (particularly in relation to the functions of Scrutiny Committees and the Democratic Services Committee)

          -         to the Authority in relation to its meetings

          -         to committees of the Authority and members of committees

          -         to any joint committee which the Local Authority is responsible for Organising and the members of that committee

          -         in relation to the functions of Scrutiny Committees, to all Members / Officers

          -         to each member of the Authority carrying out the role of member

·         Promoting the role of the Council's Scrutiny Committees

·         Preparing reports and recommendations in respect of resources required to discharge Democratic Services functions.

 

6.             The designation of the Head of Democratic Services is required under the Measure to be considered and approved by the Democratic Services Committee at its inaugural meeting and on the basis of a recommendation from the Head of Paid Service.  As reported to Council on 27th June 2012, the recommendation is that the current Operational Manager (Democratic Services) be designated, but with the post to remain on Operational Manager grade.  Such designation was felt to be congruent with the current duties of the officer concerned and the requirements set out in the guidelines to the Measure.  The postholder will retain his existing title.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.             The post will continue to be funded from within existing resources.

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 is required to designate an officer to the statutory role of Head of Democratic Services.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.            None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.            These matters will have been taken into account by the Welsh Government in formulating the Measure.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.            The Measure makes arrangements for changes to the political structure of local government in Wales and the way in which local government operates.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.            This is a matter which the Local Government (Wales) Measure specifies must be determined by a Council's Democratic Services Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.            None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.            Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011

Reports to Cabinet: 8th June, 2011 and 29th February, 2012

Report to Council: 27th June, 2012

Contact Officer

Reuben Bergman, Head of Human Resources (Tel: 709357)

Officers Consulted

Chief Executive

Director of Resources

Responsible Officer:

John Maitland Evans, Chief Executive

 

 

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