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Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 26th February, 2015

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Outcome of Appeal to the Adjudication Panel for Wales

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To update Standards Committee regarding the decision of the Adjudication Panel for Wales on 22nd January, 2015 and advise of the issuing of notification pursuant to the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001..

Recommendation

That the report be noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

Having regard to the contents of the report.

 

Background

2.         The decision of the Standards Committee held on 31st July 2014 was

(1)          T H A T, arising from the decision of the Standards Committee, and contrary to Paragraph  4(b) of the Sully and Lavernock Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct, Community Councillor L. Scaglioni made inappropriate and personal comments about Councillor K. Mahoney in an e-mail dated 25th September 2012, Councillor Scaglioni be suspended from being a Member of Sully and Lavernock Community Council for a period of six months.

(2)          T H A T, arising from the decision of the Standards Committee, and contrary to Paragraphs 4(b) and 6(1)(a) of the Sully and Lavernock Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct, Community Councillor L. Scaglioni made inappropriate and personal comments about Councillor K. Mahoney in an e-mail dated 13th December 2012, Councillor Scaglioni be suspended from being a Member of Sully and Lavernock Community Council for a period of six months.

(3)          T H A T, arising from the decision of the Standards Committee, and contrary to Paragraphs 4(b) and 6(1)(a) of the Sully and Lavernock Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct, Community Councillor L. Scaglioni made inappropriate and personal comments about Councillor K. Mahoney in an e-mail dated 18th December 2012, Councillor Scaglioni be suspended from being a Member of Sully and Lavernock Community Council for a period of six months.

(4)          T H A T, arising from the decision of the Standards Committee, and contrary to Paragraphs 4(b) and 6(1)(a) of the Sully and Lavernock Community Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct, Community Councillor L. Scaglioni made inappropriate and personal comments about Councillor K. Mahoney in an e-mail dated 4th January 2013, Councillor Scaglioni be suspended from being a Member of Sully and Lavernock Community Council for a period of six months.

(5)          T H A T Community Councillor L. Scaglioni be required to attend a training session regarding the Members’ Code of Conduct. 

(6)          T H A T Community Councillor L. Scaglioni be advised of his right to appeal against the Committee’s determination within a period of 21 days of his receiving notification, by giving notice in writing to:

            The Registrar

            Adjudication Panel for Wales

            Government Buildings

            Spa Road East

            Llandrindod Wells

            Powys

            LE1 5HA

 

and that the notice of appeal must specify:

the grounds for appeal, and

whether or not the person giving notice of the appeal consents to the appeal being conducted by way of written representations.

(7)          T H A T, subject to an appeal (if any) the findings of the Standards Committee as detailed in paragraphs (1) to (5) above be publicised in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees)(Wales) Regulations 2001.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         Councillor Scaglioni exercised his right of appeal against the Committee's determination, by giving notice within the specified time, to the Registrar, of the Adjudication Panel for Wales.

4.         The Appeal was considered by a Tribunal  of the Adjudication Panel for Wales on 22nd January 2015 and it was the finding of the Appeal Tribunal that Councillor Scaglioni did not breach Paragraph 4(b) of the Community Council’s Code of Conduct on the basis that some of his comments were political in nature and attracted enhanced protection under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.  The Tribunal considered that the comments were not sufficiently offensive or abusive in the context in which they were written to amount to a failure to show respect and consideration.

5.         The Appeal Tribunal, having found that Community Councillor Scaglioni did not breach the Code of Conduct with regard to failing to show respect and consideration agreed that Community Councillor Scaglioni could not therefore have brought the office or authority into disrepute.

6.         The Appeal Tribunal decided to overturn the determination of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Standards Committee that Community Council Scaglioni had breached the Sully and Lavernock Community Council’s Code of Conduct, and the sanction imposed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Standards Committee was rescinded.

7.         A copy of the Notice of Decision is attached, and the Tribunal’s full reasoned decision will be available on the Adjudication Panel’s website in due course.

8.         In accordance with Regulation 13 of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001, a report on the outcome of the investigation has been sent to Community Councillor Scaglioni, the person who made the allegations which gave rise to the investigation and the Local Commissioner in Wales.

9.         Additionally, a report notifying of the outcome of the investigation has been published in the Gem Newspaper and on the Vale of Glamorgan Council's website.  Copies are available for inspection by the public at all reasonable office hours.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      None.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.      None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.      The Standards Committee is required to comply with the 2001 Regulations.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.      None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.      None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.      None.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.      None.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.      The report does not require consultation with other parties.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.      Not applicable.


Background Papers

·           Report by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales on an investigation into allegations against Councillor Lino Scaglioni of Sully and Lavernock Community Council dated 19th February 2014 and the minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on 31st July 2014.

·           E-mail dated 23rd January 2015 from the Permanent Secretary of the Adjudication Panel for Wales.

 

Contact Officer

Ms. D. Marles, tel: (01446) 709401

 

Officers Consulted

None.

 

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer

 

 

 

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