MINUTES of a meeting held on 15th
Present: Mr. C. D. Samuel (Chairman);
Mr. G. Ellis (Vice-Chairman); and Mr. D. Perkins, Community
Councillor Mrs. A Pryer, Councillors
Mrs. V.M. Hartrey and Mrs. M. Kelly Owen.
981 APOLOGIES FOR
These were received from Councillor Mrs.
M.E.J. Birch and Mr. P. Langmaid.
982 MINUTES -
RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting
held on 6th March, 2008 be approved as a correct
983 DECLARATIONS OF
No declarations were received.
984 THE LOCAL
AUTHORITIES (MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT) (WALES) ORDER 2008 (MO) -
The Standards Committee were advised of the
revised statutory Members’ Code of Conduct due to come into force
on 18th April, 2008.
By virtue of s.51 of the Local Government Act
2000 the new Code, as the current Code, was mandatory and these
mandatory provisions must be adopted within six months of
18th April by all County, County Borough, Town and
Community Councils in Wales.
The new Code of Conduct was set out in
Appendix A to the report.
Committee noted some key changes to the
current Code, as follows:
Disclosure of Personal
The intention of the new Code was to provide
greater flexibility for members to participate in Council
business. The new Code adopted the approach used in England
of a two stage test of a ‘personal and prejudicial interest’.
The requirement to disclose personal interests would apply to a
slightly wider range of circumstance where members may influence
decisions including telephone conversations, correspondence and
whilst attending meetings of other organisations.
However, there was now only one test in
respect of action being taken as a result of such personal
interest. If it was objectively viewed as being ‘prejudicial’
then the member affected must take no part in relation to any
decision on that matter and must withdraw from any meetings they
were present at where it was discussed. There remained the
option of seeking dispensation from the Standards Committee but the
wider range of dispensations effectively provided for under the
Code should make specific exceptions relatively rare.
The current ‘halfway house’ measure whereby
members could speak in certain circumstances but not vote, had been
removed. The only exception to this was that there was a new
provision whereby even if a member had a prejudicial interest he or
she may speak at a meeting where the public had similar rights to
speak. This would not permit any involvement in the decision
A wider range of exemptions / dispensations
from the normal impact of a prejudicial interest was provided in
order to maximise the opportunity for members to participate in
Authority business, where this was appropriate. Members who
fell within these expanded exemptions / dispensations would be able
to take a full part in the meeting including speaking and voting
where this was available.
Some additional and amended exemptions where
the member would be regarded as having a personal but not a
prejudicial interest were:
Any business that related to another relevant authority of which
the member was
also a member.
Where that business related to another public authority or body
of a public nature in which the member held a position of
general control or
body to which the member had been elected, appointed or nominated
Where the member had a role as a school governor (where not
nominated by their
Authority) unless it related to the school of which they were a
The members’ role as a member of the Local Health Board, where they
appointed or nominated by their Authority.
In relation to the above group, there were
still restrictions when issues such as approvals, consents,
licences, permissions and registrations were under
The members’ role as a Community Councillor in
relation to grants, loans or other financial assistance to
community and voluntary organisations up to a maximum of £500.
Duty to Uphold the Law
A recent change in primary legislation
following a decision by the Adjudication Panel for England
reinforced the requirement not to bring the Authority or office of
member into disrepute in the both the members’ personal and
In addition, the current requirement not to
commit a criminal offence whilst acting in their official capacity
or otherwise was removed from the Code as it was caught under the
requirement not to bring the office into disrepute.
The duty to report actual or likely criminal
behaviour remained, but would not apply to behaviour which was
punishable by a fixed penalty.
Respect for Others
The requirement not to use bullying behaviour
or harass any person was now specifically included, in addition to
the existing principles of behaviour.
It was noted that the Code contained a
requirement to pre-register members’ interests.
The Standards Committee also noted that, in
accordance with s.52(1) of the Local Government 2000, members would
be required to sign up to the new Code before the end of a period
of two months beginning with the date on which the Code was
adopted. The Standards Committee took the view that it would
be appropriate for the new Code to be adopted from 5th
May 2008, to coincide with the retirement of the current Council
membership, and assumption of office of the newly elected members
following the council elections on 1st May, 2008.
Should Council adopt the Code from
5th May 2008, the newly elected members would have until
4th July 2008 in which to sign up to the new Code before
they were able to act in that office.
Finally, the Standards Committee noted the
requirement in the new Code for the Authority to specify a value
for gifts and hospitality, above which it was a requirement that
the receipt of the gift or hospitality be registered, and
recommended that the Council consider setting rates for gifts, and
(1) T H A
T the revised Model Code of Conduct for Members be noted.
(2) T H A
T Council be recommended to adopt the mandatory provisions of the
Model Code as contained in the Local Authorities (Model Code of
Conduct) (Wales) Order 2008 as the Council’s Members’ Code of
Conduct with effect from 5th May 2008, copy
(3) T H A
T Council be requested to set a value for the registration of any
gift, hospitality, material benefit or advantage in accordance with
paragraph 17 of the Model Code of Conduct.
Reasons for decisions
To comply with the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct)
(Wales) Order 2008.