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Agenda Item No. 6

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group : 25th June, 2013

 

Democratic Services Committee: 24th July 2013

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services

 

Local Authorities (Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2013

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To apprise Members of the above Regulations.

Recommendation

THAT the recommendations be noted and taken into account in terms of any joint Scrutiny arrangements entered into by the Council.

Reason for the Recommendation

To ensure the Council complies with the above Regulations.

 

Background

2.             On 1st October, 2012 the Welsh Government issued a Consultation Document which included draft Regulations and Statutory Guidance on Joint Scrutiny Committees.  The document was considered by the Group on 7th November, 2012 and by the Democratic Services Committee on 21st November, 2012.  As a result, the Council submitted comments to the Welsh Government asking that :-

 

(1)        the Welsh Government be requested to clarify, and include in the final guidance on joint overview and scrutiny, the mechanism for payment of a Senior Salary to the Chairman of a Joint Scrutiny Committee, including :

 

·               the means by which such a salary would be expected to be funded

 

·               the implications, in terms of its overall limit on senior salaries set by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales, for the local authority from whom a Chairman was appointed.

(2)        T H A T the Welsh Government be urged to ensure that the final guidance is distributed as soon as practicable after the end of the consultation period.

3.             Payments to members of a local authority are determined by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales. The Panel issued a Draft Supplementary Report – "Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committees Remuneration" dated 19 March 2013, which set out their considerations of the implications of establishing a joint overview and scrutiny committee for their Remuneration framework. Their preliminary determination is that a Chair would be entitled to a payment of £8,375 (£4,368 if the member is already in receipt of a payment) and a Vice-Chair would be entitled to a payment of £4,368 (£2,184 if the member is already in receipt of a payment).

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The issuing by the Welsh Government of the final Statutory Guidance is still awaited.  However, the relevant Regulations have now been issued and came into force on 24th May, 2013.  A copy is attached as Appendix A and they will also be reported to the Democratic Services Committee.  In summary, the Regulations include provisions relating to the following:

·               Regulation 3 - Appointment and functions of Joint Scrutiny Committees

·               Regulation 4 - Requirement for participating authorities to enter an agreement

·               Regulation 5 - Membership

·               Regulation 6 - Sub-Committees

·               Regulation 7 - Chairing of Joint Committees and Sub-Committees

·               Regulation 8 - Access to meetings and documentation

·               Regulation 9 - Termination of membership

·               Regulation 10 - Suspension from membership

·               Regulation 11 - Co-option

·               Regulation 12 - Reference of matters to Joint Scrutiny Committees

·               Regulation 13 - Duty to respond to Joint Committees

·               Regulation 14 - Provisions re "Designated Persons"

·               Regulation 15 - Publication of reports/recommendations/responses.

5.             Officers of the Constituent Authorities of the Central South Consortium Joint Education Service are in the process of finalising draft Terms of Reference and membership provisions for a Joint Scrutiny Committee.  The proposed arrangements will need to be considered and ratified by the five Constituent Authorities.  The Regulations will need to be complied with in terms of the setting up and ongoing operation of, the Joint Scrutiny Committee.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

6.             There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8.             As set out in the Measure and this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

9.             None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10.        These matters will have been taken into account by the Welsh Government in making the Measure.

Corporate/Service Objectives

11.        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

12.        The terms of reference of the Democratic Services Committee include "To have regard to Welsh Ministerial guidance when exercising its function".

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

14.        All.

Background Papers

Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011.

Report to Cabinet: 8th June, 2011.

Draft Statutory Guidance issues by Welsh Government: 3rd February, 2012.

Report to Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group: 7th November, 2012 and 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

 

 

 

 

 

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