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Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 25th January, 2017

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Composition of Case Tribunals referred to the Adjudication Panel for Wales

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Standards Committee regarding the representations made by the Monitoring Officer concerning the composition of Case Tribunals established by the Adjudication Panel for Wales.

Recommendation

THAT the content of this report and the letter of response from the Adjudication Panel for Wales, dated the 28th November 2016 and attached at Appendix B, be noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

To apprise the Committee of the response from the Adjudication Panel for Wales.

Background

  1. On the 22nd September 2016, the Standards Committee received a report regarding the outcome of a Case Tribunal relating to an alleged breach of the Members' Code of Conduct.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Having noted the report, the Standards Committee had regard to the second preliminary issue raised by the Respondent Councillor regarding the composition of the Case Tribunal and more particularly his submission that given the nature of the allegation, he would have preferred at least one male member on the panel.
  2. It was the consensus of the Standards Committee that, for the perception of fairness, all Case Tribunals should have both male and female members.
  3. The Committee recognised the difficulties that the Adjudication Panel for Wales may be having in recruiting male members and agreed that the Monitoring Officer write a letter to Adjudication Panel for Wales to raise this point. A copy of the Monitoring Officer's letter, dated the 22nd November 2016, is attached at Appendix A.
  4. In response to this, the Monitoring Office received a reply on the 28th November 2016 and this is attached at Appendix B.
  5. The letter of response indicates that recruitment to panels is carried out through the Judicial Appointments Commission, with appointments of members made by the First Minister after consideration of the Commission's recommendations.
  6. It is intended that the Judicial Appointments Commission will be asked to carry out a further recruitment exercise within the next 12 months.
  7. Once details of the recruitment drive have been received, the Monitoring Officer will arrange for a copy of the relevant advertisement to be forwarded to members (and former members) of the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Standards Committee.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. None.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Not applicable.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. Not applicable.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. None.

Background Papers

Letters as attached at Appendix A and B to this report.

Contact Officer

Gareth Davies, Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer

Officers Consulted

Head of Democratic Services

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer

 

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