Agenda Item No 8

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 25th January, 2018

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Overview of Members' Code of Conduct Complaints Post 2012

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To apprise Members of a number of complaints that have been reported to the Standards Committee since 2012.

Recommendations

That the report be noted.

Reasons for the Recommendations

To apprise Members of the outcomes of complaints reported to the Standards Committee.

Background

  1. At the last meeting of the Committee it was agreed that a report be presented to the next meeting of the Standards Committee for Members information in relation to Complaints reported to the Standards Committee. Complaints are presented to Committee via two avenues either as a result of the Council's Local Dispute Resolution Procedure or following an investigation by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales ( The Ombudsman) if he determines that there is evidence of a potential breach of the Members Code of Conduct.
  2. Council, on 25th June, 2014, agreed to a recommendation of the Standards Committee that a Local Dispute Resolution Procedure for the Vale of Glamorgan be agreed. Stage 3 of the procedure entails a hearing before an Independent Member of the Standards Committee for determination. The outcome of such hearings are reported to the Standards Committee for information.
  3. Section 69.1(a and b) of the Local Government Act 2000 ("the 2000 Act") provides that the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales may investigate (a) cases in which a written allegation is made to him by any person that a member or co-opted member (or former member or co-opted member) of a relevant authority has failed, or may have failed, to comply with the Authority's code of conduct and (b) other cases in which he considers that a member or co-opted member (or former member or co-opted member) of a relevant authority has failed, or may have failed, to comply with the authority's code of conduct and which have come to his attention as a result of an investigation under paragraph (a).
  4.   The purpose of the Ombudsman's investigation is to determine that either:
  • There is no evidence of any failure to comply with the Code of Conduct of the relevant Authority concerned;
  • No action needs to be taken in respect of the matters which are the subject of the investigation;
  • The matters which are the subject of the investigation should be referred to the Monitoring Officer of the relevant Authority concerned; or
  • The matters which are the subject of the investigation should be referred to the President of the Adjudication Panel for Wales for adjudication by a tribunal established under the 2000 Act.

  Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Appendix 1 to this report provides a list of complaints that have been presented to the Standards Committee since June 2014. From May 2012 to May 2014 no Ombudsman complaints came before the Committee.
  2. The list at Appendix 1 includes complaints considered following reports received in respect of Town and Community Councillors' complaints from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales as well as details of Vale of Glamorgan Local Dispute Resolution Procedure hearings where a decision to censure has been made.
  3. The Standards Committee has also received reports from time to time which provide an update in respect of decisions of Case Tribunals from the Adjudication Panel of Wales.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no resource implications as a direct consequence of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no sustainability and climate change implications as a direct result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council has a duty to establish and maintain a Standards Committee as defined by legislation as set out in the Standards Committees Rules and Regulations 2001 and the Standards Committees (Wales) Regulations 2006.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The report relates to the role of the Standards Committee as detailed in the Council's Constitution.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Not Applicable.

Background Papers

Minutes of Standards Committee meetings

Contact Officer

Mrs. K. Bowen, Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer, Tel: (01446) 709856

Officers Consulted

None.

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer

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