Agenda Item No. 9

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 17th May, 2018

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Independent Review of Community and Town Councils

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To apprise Members of the Review that is being undertaken by an independent Review Panel commissioned by Welsh Government in considering the future of the Community and Town Councils sector in Wales. 

Recommendations

THAT the report be noted.

Reasons for the Recommendations

To apprise Committee of the purpose of the Review being undertaken.

Background

  1. As part of the Standards Committee Work Programme agreed at the last meeting on 22nd March, 2018 a report was requested to be presented in respect of the Independent Review being undertaken of the Community and Town Council sectors in Wales. 
  2. The Independent Review Panel were commissioned by Welsh Government to undertake the Review with the following remit:
  • To explore the potential role of local government below Principal Councils, to draw on best practice.
  • To define the most appropriate model(s)/structure(s) to deliver this role.
  • To consider how these models and structures should be applied across Wales.  This to include consideration of any situation to which they would not be necessary or appropriate.
  1. All Group Leaders of the 22 local authorities in Wales were advised of the impending Review which was to focus on what is required to ensure the most local level of government was effective, efficient and delivering benefits to local communities. 

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Review commenced in July 2017 and the Council has been informed that to date the Panel had heard the views and gathered evidence from a range of stakeholders including Community and Town Councils themselves, local authorities, the Third Sector and key stakeholders including One Voice Wales, the Wales Audit Office, the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission and Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales.
  2. The Independent Review Panel have advised that they are keen to get the local authority perspective on what role Community and Town Councils should play and what needs to be undertaken to be able to play that role.  The Head of Performance and Development has responded on behalf of the Council and a representative from the Independent Review Panel Ms Claire Germain attended the Community Liaison Committee meeting on 21st March, 2018 to provide an overview of the purpose of the Review to Town and Community Councillors.
  3. Bespoke regional workshops, in partnership with the WLGA and local authorities were also held in April 2018.  Following the evidence provided the Panel will be reflecting on this and providing the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services with its emerging findings and recommendations in the summer of 2018.  A copy of the final findings will be reported to the Standards Committee on receipt.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. One of the roles of the Standards Committee is to maintain and promote high standards of conduct by Councillors, Co-opted Members and Church and Parent Governor representatives.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. N/A.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. N/A.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. N/A.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Karen Bowen, Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer

01446 709856

democratic@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Officers Consulted

None.

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles

Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer