Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 16 July, 2018

 

Report of the Electoral Registration Officer

 

Community Review - St. Brides Major Community Council

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To seek Cabinet's endorsement of the Electoral Registration Officer's (ERO) final proposal for the community review of the number of members on the St. Brides Major Community Council.

Recommendations

  1. T H A T Cabinet considers and endorses the Electoral Registration Officer's final proposal of no change as set out in Appendix A to this report.
  1. T H A T the Electoral Registration Officer be authorised to report to Council in line with Recommendation 1 above on the review of the electoral arrangements relating to the number of members representing the St. Brides Major Community Council. 

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To inform and seek approval of Cabinet on the final proposal of the ERO.
  2. In line with the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013.

Background

  1. The Council has a duty under s31 of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 ("the Act") to conduct a review of the electoral arrangements for a community in its area either of its own initiative or at the request of the community council for the community.
  2. A request was received from the St. Brides Major Community Council ("the Community Council"), for a review to be undertaken of the number of members elected to the Ogmore by Sea Ward. 
  3. The request highlighted that the Community Council considered that due to the increase in properties there was an unfair ratio of members to electors in the Ogmore by Sea Ward, proposing that the total number of members for the Ogmore by Sea Ward be increased from five to six.
  4. The Community Council is currently made up of five members for the Ogmore by Sea Ward and six members for the St Brides Major Ward. The current electorate for Ogmore by Sea is 942 which gives a ratio of 1:189.  The current electors for St Brides Major is 798 which gives a ratio of 1:133. The planning forecast indicates an additional 100 dwellings in the Ogmore by Sea ward between 2017-2019.
  5. The 100 dwellings are already included in the current property database on the Electoral Register and were reflected in the 18 September 2017 Cabinet Report.
  6. It was proposed by the ERO that as part of the review that the number of members elected to both Wards of the  Community Council be reviewed in light of the number of community councillors on the Council.
  7. Consequently, Cabinet received a report at its meeting on 18 September 2017 when it resolved (in part):

"(1) THAT delegated authority be granted to the Electoral Registration Officer to conduct a review of electoral arrangements in relation to the number of members representing the St.Brides Major Community Council, in accordance with the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013.

 (minute no.C71)

  1. The ERO's initial proposal of no change was approved by Cabinet on 5 February 2018. (minute no. C214)

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. In line with the terms of reference for the review:
  • The review was brought  to the attention of the mandatory consultees and such other persons the ERO considered likely to be interested in the review;
  • The ERO consulted the mandatory consultees on the intended procedure and methodology for the review;
  • The ERO conducted investigations as considered appropriate;
  • Following the initial consultation the ERO prepared a report containing the proposals for no change and the reasons for this proposal which was subject to wider consultation in line with statutory requirements.
  • The review has been published electronically and continues to be available for public inspection.
  • Copies of the report were sent to Welsh Ministers and the mandatory consultees and a response will also be provided to all representatives who took part in the review to date.
  • No further submissions were received during the second stage of the consultation.
  • Appendix A is the ERO's final proposal of no change to the electoral arrangements at St. Brides Major Community Council.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The publishing and administrative costs of the review will be met from the Electoral Registration Services existing budget. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Section 31 of the Act places the Council under a legal duty to conduct a review of electoral arrangements for a community in its area of its own initiative or at the request of the community council for the community.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report, as the ERO is of the view that the level of community councillor representation is sufficient.  It is also noted that the only representations received came from the Community Council itself. 

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Electoral Registration has links to the following corporate priority:

'Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan can easily access efficiently managed services that are focused around their needs, have confidence in how decisions are made and are proud to live in the Vale.'

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.  The report detailing the outcome of the review will be presented to Council in due course for consideration and approval.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Consultation has taken place as part of the review with the relevant ward Councillors.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Performance and Resources

Background Papers

E-mail received from St Brides Major Community Council dated 26June 2017

Contact Officer

Rebecca Light (Electoral Services Manager, Legal Services)

Officers Consulted

Rob Thomas (Managing Director)

Responsible Officer:

Debbie Marles (Electoral Registration Officer)