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Agenda Item No 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 5th November, 2014

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Hospitality

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide Members with an overview of the meaning of the word 'Hospitality' in relation to the Member's Code of Conduct.

Recommendations

THAT Standards Committee note the report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

For the information of Members of the Standards Committee.

 

Background

2.         Standards Committee on 11th April, 2014 requested that a report be brought before a future meeting of the Committee outlining what constituted 'Hospitality'.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         The Vale of Glamorgan Council's Code of Conduct for Members, Paragraph 9(b) states:

"You must -

(b)          avoid accepting from anyone gifts, hospitality (other than official hospitality, such as a civic reception of a work lunch duly authorise by your authority), material benefits or services for yourself of any person which might place you, or reasonably appear to place you, under an improper obligation.

 

4.         The guidance of the Public Services' Ombudsman for Wales, in referring to Gifts and Hospitality, states:

"It's important that you don't accept any gifts or hospitality for yourself, or on behalf of others, which would place you under obligation or appear to do so.  Accepting such gifts or hospitality could be regarded as compromising your objectivity when you make decisions or carry out the work of your Council.  This is also true of any services or gifts in kind.

This does not prevent you from attending official events such as a civic reception or working lunch where these are authorised by your authority.

 

5.         For the information of the Committee, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, on 23rd April, 2008 determined the following amounts above which receipt must be declared:

  • Gifts                   £50
  • Hospitality         £25.

6.         Subsequently, the Council on 21st May, 2008 determined that Material Benefits/Advantages be also declared.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         None.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.         None directly associated with this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.         Members are required to comply with their respective Members' Code of Conduct ('the Code').  The declarations of interests and gifts and hospitality (above the Council's specified threshold) is an integral part of the Code.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.      None directly associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.      None directly associated with this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.      To promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Councillors which is fundamental as part of the Community Leadership role of the Council and Town and Community Councils.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.      This report falls within the Policy Framework and Budget for the Council, and is a matter for decision by the Standards Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.      None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.      None.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Debbie Marles - Head of Legal Services.

01446 709402

E-mail: dmarles@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

 

Officers Consulted

None.

 

Responsible Officer:

Debbie Marles

Head of Legal Services (and Monitoring Officer)

 

 

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