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Agenda Item No.11

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee: 24th July 2013

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services

 

Remote Attendance at Council Meetings

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To afford Members a further opportunity of commenting on draft statutory guidance in respect of the above issued by the Welsh Government.

Recommendation

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

Reason for the Recommendation

To afford Members a further opportunity to comment on the draft statutory guidance.

 

Background

2.             One of the provisions of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 ("the Measure") relates to the introduction of the possibility of remote attendance at Council meetings. 

3.             Draft statutory guidance issued by the Welsh Government regarding this matter was circulated to all Members of the Council on 14th June 2013.  Members were informed of the intention to submit a report to the Committee on 24th July and invited to forward any comments for incorporation in such a report. 

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             A small number of responses were received from Members.  In summary, the comments related to:

·               the cost of facilitating the possibility of remote attendance and officer time involved

·               a suggestion that the provision would more likely be relevant in a large rural local authority

·               an expression of support for the principle of remote attendance, subject to it being applicable within limited / specified conditions only.

5.             The purpose of this report is to afford the Committee a final opportunity to comment on the draft statutory guidance, which is attached to the report.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

6.             Whilst difficult to quantify in advance of any such facility being made available, there would, obviously, be implications in terms of additional officer resources necessary.

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 is required to comply with the provisions of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 in its approach to the possibility of remote attendance.

Crime and Disorder Implications

9.             None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10.        The provision within the Measure for the introduction of the possibility of remote attendance at Council meetings is intended to make it easier for those Members who, for instance, may have to travel long distances, those with domestic responsibilities and those in employment to attend.

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.        There are no direct implications arising from the report.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

14.        Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011

Welsh Government Consultation Document: Remote Attendance at Council Meetings: 29th May 2013

 

Contact Officer

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

 

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

Head of Strategic ICT

Responsible Officer:

Jeff Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services

 

 

 

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