Agenda Item No 7

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 25th January 2018

 

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 feedback in respect of the training that has been provided for Members of Vale of Glamorgan Town and Community Councils and Clerks by One Voice Wales.

Recommendation

That the contents of the report be noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

To inform Members of the Standards Committee.

Background

  1. The Terms of Reference of the Standards Committee include 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 and 6 June 2017.
  2. 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 following training sessions were therefore held:
  • 17th October, 2017;
  • 19th October, 2017;
  • 24th October, 2017;
  • 7th November, 2017; and
  • 14th November, 2017.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Monitoring Officer attended each of the five 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. The Standards Committee was informed at the last meeting on 23rd November, 2017 that a total of 73 attended including Town and Community Councillors, the Audit Committee Lay Member and Town and Community Councils' Clerks, it being noted that Penarth and Cowbridge Town Councils arranged their own training in 2017 and that for some Councils no Members were available to attend.
  3. A total of 72 feedback response forms were received and a copy of the feedback summary is attached at Appendix 1 to this report. On a scoring rate of 1 to 6 (1 for low and 6 being for high) the overall rating of the training provided was 5.76. Feedback received from attendees had been very positive which was borne out by the feedback summary received. It was also important to note that 46 respondents also indicated that they would attend further training, with others indicating that they would possibly attend further training.

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, Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer,

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

Officers Consulted

None

Responsible Officer:

Ms. Debbie Marles, Monitoring Officer