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Agenda Item No. 10

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee: 24th July 2013

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services

 

Welsh Government Draft Guidance: Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011: Part 7: Communities and Community Councils

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To afford the Committee the opportunity of commenting on the above draft guidance.

Recommendation

That any comments made by the Committee be forwarded to the Welsh Government.

Reason for the Recommendation

To afford the Committee the opportunity to comment on the draft guidance.

 

Background

2.             Part 7 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 ("the Measure") contains provisions which give effect to the Welsh Government's commitment to "develop and strengthen the role of community councils in Wales, enabling them to deliver a wider range of services and actions locally as well as increasing the effectiveness of their representational role and their ability to work in partnership with other bodies.

3.             These provisions flowed from the recommendations of a study, commissioned by the Welsh Government and undertaken in 2003, by the University of Wales, Aberystwyth: Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences into community councils in Wales, titled "Research Study into the Role, functions and future Potential of Community and Town Councils in Wales" ("the Aberystwyth Study").

4.             The Aberystwyth Study presented a comprehensive review of the activities undertaken by community councils across Wales.  The report outlined the opportunities available to community councils, the constraints within which they operate and proposals for enhancing their roles.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             The Welsh Government’s response to the report and subsequent 2007 local government policy statement "A Shared Responsibility" set out a range of commitments which have guided policy and action in this area since.  The Measure provided the vehicle for those aspects which required primary legislation to implement them.

6.             The attached guidance document includes statutory guidance in relation to the co-option of members of community councils (chapter 3) and the appointment of community youth representatives (chapter 4).  When exercising functions under the provision to which these chapters relate, regard must be given to this guidance.

7.             For each of the other chapters this guidance provides a summary of the provisions contained within the Measure and where appropriate an update on the latest position regarding the adoption of those provisions.  It should be noted that separate guidance, both statutory and non-statutory, may be developed in support of the various chapters of this part of the Measure.  This guidance will be available on the Welsh Government website.

8.             Obviously, given the nature of the subject matters covered, the implications generally are for Town and Community Councils themselves.  However, the Council will need to take account over time of the provisions and, if necessary, reflect such in the Charter that exists between the Council and Town and Community Councils.

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.        Part 7 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 contains provisions which give effect to Welsh Government commitments to develop and strengthen the role of community councils in Wales.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.        None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.        None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.        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

15.        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)

16.        Town and Community Councils will have been consulted on the draft guidance direct from the Welsh Government.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.        Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Local Government (Wales) (Measure) 2011

Welsh Government Draft Guidance: 3rd June 2013

 

Contact Officer

Jeff Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services, Tel: (01446) 709408

 

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

 

Responsible Officer:

Jeff Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services