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.
That the Standards Committee note the contents of the guidance.
Reason for the Recommendation
Having regard to the contents of the guidance.
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)
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
12. As set out in the body of the report.
Crime and Disorder Implications
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
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)
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
Mr. C. Hope (10446) 709855
Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer