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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 28th January, 2016

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Statutory Guidance - Access to Information on Community and Town Councils

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To further advise Members of the Standards Committee on the outcome of enquiries instigated by the Standards Committee on 6th July, 2015 to ascertain whether every Town and Community Council in the Vale had established a website as a result 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 report.

Reason for the Recommendation

Having regard to the contents of the guidance and responses received from Town/Community Councils.

Background

  1. 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 via its own website. When carrying out their duties under Section 55, Community and Town Councils had a statutory duty to have regard to the guidance.
  2. 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

  1. Having considered the requirements of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013, it was the decision of the Standards Committee on 6th July, 2015:

'(1)                ……………..

(2)                THAT the Monitoring Officer enquire of every Town and Community Council within the Vale of Glamorgan area as to whether the Town or Community Council has established a website.'

  1. The Monitoring Officer had sought assurance from the Clerks of all Town and Community Councils in the Vale of Glamorgan that they were in compliance with their duties under Section 55 of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013.
  2. Standards Committee, on 23rd November, 2015 was advised that assurances had been received from all Town and Community Councils, with the exception of St. Donats Community Council.
  3. A Member of the Committee enquired if the reference to St. Donats Community Council should have read Welsh St. Donats Community Council, and Committee requested that further enquiries be made to establish if Welsh St. Donats and St. Donats Community Councils had established websites.
  4. On further investigation, it has been established:
  • That Welsh St. Donats Community Council has established a website and a copy of the "homepage" is attached for information;
  • St. Donats Community Council does not have a website. The Clerk to the Community Council has been approached.
  1. I have spoken to the Clerk of St. Donats Community Council about this. She has recently become Clerk to the Council but believed that the process of establishing a website for the Community Council had commenced.

The Clerk will inform me in due course of progress with the project.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. Not applicable.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The report does not involve any consultation with other parties.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. None.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Mr. C. Hope (01446) 709855

E-mail: democratic@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Officers Consulted

None.

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer