Agenda Item No. 4

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 23rd November, 2017

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Code of Conduct Training 2017 - Vale of Glamorgan Town and Community Councils and Co-Opted Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To advise Members of the Committee of the training that has been provided for Members of Vale of Glamorgan Town and Community Councils and their Clerks, and co-opted Members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Recommendations

  1. THAT the contents of this report be noted; and
  1. THAT a further report be presented to the Standards Committee following the receipt of evaluation feedback from the training sessions.

Reason for the Recommendations

(1&2) To inform Members of the Standards Committee.

Background

  1. The terms of reference of the Standards Committee includes the requirement to:
  • promote and maintain high standards of conduct; and
  • advise, train or arrange to train

Councillors, Co-opted Members and Church and Parent Governor representatives on matters relating to the Members' Code of Conduct.

  1. Following the Local Government elections on 4th May, 2017 training on the Members' Code of Conduct was provided to all elected Vale of Glamorgan Councillors between 16 May - 6 June 2017.

Relevant Issues and Options

Town and Community Councils and their Clerks

  1. At its meeting on 1st June, 2017 the Standards Committee resolved that training for Members of Vale of Glamorgan Town and Community Councils including Clerks would be delivered by the organisation One Voice Wales - The Voice of Community and Town Councils in Wales. The training sessions were held on:
  • 17th October, 2017;
  • 19th October, 2017;
  • 24th October, 2017;
  • 7th November, 2017; and
  • 14th November, 2017.
  1. The Monitoring Officer attended each of the 5 training sessions to introduce herself, explain the role of Monitoring Officer, to address any queries arising during the training sessions, to explain the process and circumstances enabling the grant of dispensations to Members and the approach adopted in the Vale of Glamorgan Council regarding gifts and hospitality.
  2. Attached at Appendix 1 is a list of the number of Members that attended the training and comments received from a number of the Clerks.
  3. Verbal feedback from attendees to date has been very positive. Copies of the evaluation forms are currently being collated and will be the subject of a report to the next Committee meeting.

Co-opted Members

  1. Pursuant to Section 54 of the Local Government Act 2000 the functions of the Standards Committee as detailed in its terms of reference and referred to (in part) in paragraph 2 of this report, relate to co-opted Members of the Council. For clarification, the reference in the terms of reference to Church and Parent Governor representatives relates to such representatives that are co-opted onto a Council's Committee. The three co-opted Members on the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee received Members' Code of Conduct training from the Monitoring Officer on 16th October, 2017 and the co-opted Lay Member for the Audit Committee attended the One Voice Wales training session on 14th November, 2017.
  2. For Committee's information, the Council's Governor Support Unit and the Central South Consortium provide training on a number of matters including principles of conduct to Church and Governor representatives who sit on Governing Bodies in the Vale of Glamorgan.
  3. Following consultation with Monitoring Officers from Welsh Unitary Authorities the following Councils adopt the same approach as the Vale of Glamorgan Council with regard to training Church and Parent Governor representatives:
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Blaneau Gwent
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Wrexham
  • Monmouthshire and
  • Flintshire

(No response to date has been received from the remaining Monitoring Officers).

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The cost of each session provided by One Voice Wales was £375 which is being funded from existing budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. As referred to earlier in this report.

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.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. This report relates to the role of the Standards Committee to promote and maintain high standards of conduct of Members as detailed in the Council's Constitution and to develop and assist Town and Community Councillors and Clerks to be compliant with the Members' Code of Conduct.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for decision by the Standards Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. This report does not require consultation to be undertaken.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. None.

Background Papers

One Voice Wales' training documentation

Contact Officer

Karen Bowen

Tel: (01446) 709856; email democratic@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Officers Consulted

None.

Responsible Officer:

Debbie Marles

Monitoring Officer