Agenda Item No. 5


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Democratic Services Committee: 17th April, 2013


Report of the Head of Democratic Services


Wales Audit Officer Scrutiny Improvement Study


Purpose of the Report

1.             To update Members on the Council's participation in the above Wales Audit Office (WAO) Study.


1.             That the report be noted.

2.             That the outcome of the Study be reported to the Group in due course.

Reason for the Recommendations

1&2. To ensure Member awareness of the Study and its outcome.



2.             The background to the WAO Study was set out in the report to the last meeting of the Committee. 

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             As indicated in the previous report, the Council was requested to nominate Members/ officers to form a Scrutiny Learning Exchange Team who, in turn, would attend two regional workshops (where information would be presented / shared) and work with a partner Council during the Study.  This was to include observing the scrutiny process in the partner authority.  In addition, the Team would also attend two regional workshops. 

4.             The observation / evaluation exercises have now been undertaken.  The Council's Team paid two visits to Swansea Council, observing its Scrutiny Programme Committee and its Looked After Children Enquiry Panel.  Similarly, a team from Neath and Port Talbot Council observed the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources) and (Economy and Environment). 

5.             As part of this process, "focus groups" were also held with officers / Members of the respective authorities involved. 

6.             Each Council has completed an evaluation of the scrutiny arrangements in the authority observed (taking into account the authority's own initial self evaluation of such). 

7.             The formal outcome of the Study will be known following its conclusion and will, in turn, be reported to the Committee.  However, Members may wish to note that the immediate feedback provided to the two Scrutiny Committees observed was very positive.  In both instances, the feedback included complimentary comments regarding the chairing of both the Corporate Resources and Economy and Environment Committees.  Mention was also made of the "inclusive" nature of the meetings observed (i.e. in terms of the contribution / involvement of Elected Members and external participants). 

8.             The second, and final, regional workshop takes place on 12th April 2013 and a verbal update of such will be provided at the meeting by those Members and officers involved.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

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

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.        The draft Corporate Plan 2013-17 contains a specific action regarding increasing public engagement and participation at meetings. 

Policy Framework and Budget

15.        Not applicable.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.        This is an internal matter and, therefore, no consultation has been necessary.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.        All.

Background Papers

WAO Project Brief: September 2012

Report to Democratic Services Committee: 21st November 2012


Contact Officer

Mr. J. Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services, tel: (01446) 709408


Officers Consulted

Managing Director


Responsible Officer:

Mr. J. Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services