Top

Top

Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 6th July, 2015

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Statutory Guidance - Access to Information on Community and Town Councils

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise the Members of the Standards Committee of the publication by the Welsh Government of guidance which places duties on Community and Town Councils to make certain information available electronically.

Recommendation

That the Standards Committee note the contents of the guidance.

Reason for the Recommendation

Having regard to the contents of the guidance.

 

Background

2.         The duties placed on Community and Town Councils has been issued, in part, under Section 55 of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013.  Section 55 places duties on local authorities to make certain information available electronically.  When carrying out their duties under Section 55, Community and Town Councils have a statutory duty to have regard to the guidance.

3.         The guidance also explains further provisions made in the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 concerning public notices, Council meetings and proceedings and Register of Members' Interests.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         The Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013, referred to as 'the Act' throughout the guidance, gained Royal Assent on 30th July, 2013.  Its primary purpose was to reform the constitution and functions of what is now known as the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales.  The Act, however, introduced various other provisions connected with local government.

5.         Sections 55 to 58 of the Act are concerned with access to information, and most particularly, access to information about Community Councils (Section 58 applied also to County / County Borough Councils, Fire and Rescue Authorities and National Park Authorities in Wales).  For the purposes of the guidance, and reference to a Community Council or Councils includes any Community, Town or City Council which serves a community or grouped community and was established in accord with Part II of the Local Government Act 1972.

6.         In summary, the Act requires Community Councils to have websites, to publish notices and papers electronically and to publish their Register of Members' Interests electronically (those maintained under Section 81 of the Local Government Act 2000).

7.         The Guidance contains new requirements relating to the registration of Members' interests.  It is now a requirement of Town and Community Councils to maintain and publish a Register of Members' financial and other interests as are specified in the Model Code of Conduct (Paragraph 25 of the Guidance refers)

8.         A copy of the guidance has been distributed to the Clerks of all Town and Community Councils within the Vale of Glamorgan

9.         A copy of the guidance is attached as an Appendix.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      None.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.      None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.      As set out in the body of the report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.      None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.      None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.      To ensure a Standards Committee is constituted in accordance with Welsh Assembly Government Regulations.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.      Not applicable.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.       

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.      None.

Background Papers

 

Contact Officer

Mr. C. Hope (10446) 709855

e-mail: democratic@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

 

Officers Consulted

None.

 

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer

 

 

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook