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Agenda Item No. 8

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee: 24th July 2013

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services

 

Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Bill

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To apprise Members of the passing of the above Bill by the National Assembly.

Recommendations

That the report be noted and reports be submitted to future meetings of the Committee, Cabinet and / or Council once Royal Assent for the Bill has been given.

Reasons for the Recommendations

To ensure Council compliance with the relevant provisions of the Bill once Royal Assent is received.

 

Background

2.             The Bill was introduced in November 2012 by the Minister for Local Government and Communities.  The Welsh Government's stated purpose of the Bill is to make improvements to the democratic process in local government.  It seeks to ensure that local authorities are democratically representative of their communities through reforming the functions of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales.

3.             The Bill will also:

·               amend the responsibilities of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales and the structure of local authority committees within the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011

·               improve the public's access to information about Town and Community Councils

·               facilitate the creation of joint standards committees by local authorities

·               enable Councils to separate the ceremonial and civic functions from the role of presiding over meetings of the Council if they so wish.

4.             The Bill will be enacted once it has received Royal Assent and been sealed.  The Bill can be accessed on the National Assembly website.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Attached to this report is the related Explanatory Memorandum from November 2012.  Notwithstanding the fact that it is proposed to submit reports to future meetings of the Committee, Cabinet and / or Council as appropriate, Members' attention is drawn to the following paragraphs in the Explanatory Memorandum:

·               Paragraphs 50 - 51 - relating to membership of Audit Committees.  Members are asked to note that the Council's Audit Committee already complies with the requirements of political balance

·               Paragraphs 52 - 53 - relating to the functions of Democratic Services Committees.

·               Paragraphs 54 - 59 - introducing provision for the establishment by local authorities of joint standards committees

·               Paragraphs 60 - 63 - publication by Town and Community Councils of information on websites.  Members' attention is drawn to a related item on the agenda for this meeting regarding the making available of grant funding for 2013/14 to Town and Community Councils for this purpose.

·               Paragraphs 64 - 66 - Chairs and Mayors of principal councils.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

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

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8.             The Council will be required to comply with the relevant provisions of the Bill once Royal Assent has been obtained.

Crime and Disorder Implications

9.             None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10.        None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

11.        Details to be inserted.

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.        The Bill has been subject to the Welsh Government's consultation procedures.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

14.        Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Bill

 

Contact Officer

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

 

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

Head of Legal Services

Head of Performance and Development

 

Responsible Officer:

Jeff Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services

 

 

 

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