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Agenda Item No.4

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 22nd September, 2016

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Applications for Dispensation

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To consider applications to speak and vote on matters concerning Llandough and Leckwith War Memorial Institute from the Councillors on Llandough Community Council listed below, each of whom is a Trustee:
  • Councillor R.F. Collier
  • Councillor Dr. M.C. Misra
  • Councillor P.A. Carreyett
  • Councillor M.D. Edwards
  • Councillor B.C.F. Hill.

Recommendation

That the Standards Committee consider the applications to speak and vote on matters set out in the completed proforma attached.

Reason for the Recommendation

To comply with Regulations on applications for the grant of dispensations to speak and vote.

Background

  1. The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001 permits Members to apply to the Standards Committee to speak and, if appropriate, vote on issues which, due to a prejudicial interest, they may not otherwise be able to speak or vote or remain in the room.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. In order to deal with the applications as quickly as possible it is necessary for the Standards Committee to receive full information of the interests involved and why in the Member's opinion dispensation should be given. The relevant applications are set out in the attached proforma.
  2. Members are reminded that the Standards Committee, on 6th July 2015, resolved "that dispensation be granted to Llandough Community Councillors R.F. Collier, Ms. P.A. Carreyett, B.C.F. Hill, M.D. Edwards and Dr. M.C. Misra to speak and vote on matters concerning the Llandough and Leckwith War Memorial Institute, with the exception of financial matters involving the Institute, in view of there being five Councillors with a personal interest in this matter. The dispensations were granted for the Council year ending 30th April, 2016."
  3. At its subsequent meeting on 21st September 2015, the Standards Committee was informed that the Clerk to Llandough Community Council had e-mailed the Monitoring Officer explaining the difficulties the above granting of dispensations to the five Councillors would create given that, in the main, matters relating to the Institute primarily related to requests for financial grants. Llandough Community Council had ten Members, one of whom at the time was subject to an approved absence and was unlikely to be attending meetings for some months. The Clerk had also indicated that the Community Council also had a Member who, due to ill health, was not able to attend all Council meetings. It was stated that that meant that, should a financial grant application be included on the agenda for the Council meeting, it was very unlikely, as things stood at the time, that a quorum would exist with five Members unable to engage with the discussion or voting on the matter.
  4. The Clerk to the Community Council further advised that, at the Community Council meeting on 6th August 2015, a financial grant application had been received from the Institute and the five Members declared a personal and prejudicial interest which left only two Members to consider the matter, which they were unable to as the quorum for the meeting was four Members.
  5. On 6th August 2015, the Community Council had resolved to ask the Standards Committee to re-examine this matter on an urgent basis so as to ensure that the Community Council could give consideration to financial grant applications from the Institute.
  6. At the Standards Committee on 21st September 2015, discussions ensued on the request of the Community Council. Members of the Committee expressed their unease at granting the requests for dispensation in view of the Members of the Community Council having a clear prejudicial interest in this matter as a result of their being Trustees of the Llandough and Leckwith War Memorial Institute.
  7. Whilst recognising that it was entirely a matter for the Community Council to determine upon, Members of the Standards Committee felt that the Community Council might wish to consider alternative governance arrangements regarding the Llandough and Leckwith War Memorial Institute which would overcome any potential issues surrounding the quorum.
  8. Alternative governance arrangements could include:
  • a reduction in the number of Llandough Community Councillors acting as Trustees on the Llandough and Leckwith War Memorial Institute
  • the replacement of Council Trustees on the Llandough and Leckwith War Memorial Institute with Independent Trustees.
  1. Following the discussion, it was resolved that the decision of the Standards Committee of 6th July, 2015 remain unchanged.
  2. In terms of the current applications, it can be seen from the attached proforma that the (same) five Members of Llandough Community Council alluded to above have now submitted a new application for a dispensation in respect of the same matter. Given the Committee's previous decisions on this matter, Members are asked to note that the request does not exclude financial matters.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council is required to comply with The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. None.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This report does not affect the Council's Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. None.

Background Papers

The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

Contact Officer

Mr. J. Wyatt, tel: (01446) 709408, e-mail: democratic@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Officers Consulted

None.

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer