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Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee: 10th February 2016

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services

 

Draft Protocol re Scrutiny and Cabinet Roles and Responsibilities

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To consider a draft Protocol, which has been developed in response to specific recommendations and various other elements of the Wales Audit Office Scrutiny Improvement Study.

Recommendation

That the draft Protocol be endorsed and submitted to Cabinet and Council for consideration.

Reason for the Recommendation

To further apprise Members of actions being taken in respect of the specific recommendations and various other elements contained in the Wales Audit Office Scrutiny Improvement Study.

Background

  1. Members will be aware from previous reports of the all-Wales Scrutiny Improvement Study undertaken by the Wales Audit Office. As far as this Council was concerned, in response to the nine specific recommendations emerging from the Study, an Action Plan was prepared. That Action Plan has been the subject of update reports to both the Democratic Services Committee and the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group. That will continue to be the case.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The nine specific recommendations of the Auditor General have been reported previously and are covered in the Action Plan (which, in itself, is included as a separate agenda item).
  2. The Action Plan included the drawing up of a Protocol designed to encompass a number of elements of the Wales Audit Office recommendations, including:
  • the overall roles / responsibilities of Scrutiny and Cabinet Members (and, indeed, officers),
  • the general arrangements in place governing the Scrutiny process,
  • the need for correlation of internal (i.e. Council, Cabinet and Scrutiny) Work Programmes and correlation between those and external regulators' Work Programmes.
  1. The draft Protocol is attached as Appendix A. The draft is also being submitted to the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group.
  2. It can be seen that the draft Protocol seeks to set out parameters governing the following specific areas:
  • Principles of Effective Scrutiny
  • Role of the Scrutiny Committees
  • Holding the Cabinet to Account
  • Relationship Between Cabinet and Scrutiny
  • Work Programmes and Agendas
  • Ethos of a Scrutiny Committee Meeting
  • Attendance by Cabinet Members at Scrutiny Committee Meetings
  • Attendance by Officers at Scrutiny Committee Meetings
  • Responses of Cabinet Members to Questions from Scrutiny Committees
  • "Call-In" of a Cabinet Decision
  • Recommendations made by Scrutiny Committees
  • Meetings Between Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Cabinet Members
  • Public Speaking at Scrutiny Committee Meetings.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

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

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council is required to comply with the requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 in terms of its Scrutiny arrangements.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Corporate Plan 2013-17 contains a specific action to develop a protocol for the public to give evidence at Scrutiny and Planning Committees and increase public participation in meetings. This has now been implemented.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The outcome of the survey, and any suggested changes arising as a result, will be reported to the Group and subsequently submitted to Cabinet / Council as appropriate for consideration.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. All

Background Papers

Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 and associated guidance documents.

Report to Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group: 13th October 2015.

Report to Democratic Services Committee: 21st October 2015.

Contact Officer

Jeff 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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