Agenda Item No. 6

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 20th September, 2018

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer and Head of Legal and Democratic Services

 

Observations by Independent Standards Committee Members at Vale of Glamorgan Council Meetings

Purpose of the Report

  1. To provide the Committee with an update of the observations by Independent Standards Committee Members at Vale of Glamorgan Council meetings.

Recommendation

THAT the Standards Committee consider the information provided at the meeting and consider recommendations as necessary.

Reason for the Recommendation

Having regard to the observations undertaken.

Background

  1. There are a number of roles and functions of the Standards Committee, one of which is: 

(a)   To promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Councillors, Co-Opted Members and church and parent governor representatives of the Council. 

In considering the Committees work programme report at its meeting January 2018 the proposal for independent Members of the Committee to observe Vale of Glamorgan Council meetings was agreed to be an appropriate opportunity to not only build on knowledge but to assist with the process of promoting and maintaining high   standards of conduct.

  1. As part of the Committee's work programme it was agreed that Independent Members would attend a number of Vale of Glamorgan Council meetings during the Municipal Year 2018/19 to observe meetings with a view to promote and maintain high standards of conduct in line with the Members ' Code of Conduct.
  2. Feedback reports would also be presented to the Standards Committee on a quarterly basis following the observations.
  3. A copy of the calendar of meetings for the forthcoming Municipal Year was attached to the report for the July meeting for Committee's information. The calendar could also be found on the website at the link http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Committee%20Information/Calendar-of-Meetings/2018-19/17-12-04-English.pdf .
  4. Members were requested to consider the timetable of meetings from May 2018 - May 2019 and inform the Democratic Services Officer of the meetings that they would wish to attend.  It being further suggested that an Independent Member attended one of the meetings (out of the 16 listed) on a quarterly basis with feedback reports to be presented to the Standards Committee every six months on observations made.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. A copy of the list of meetings that Independent Members of the Standards Committee had agreed to attend was circulated to Vale of Glamorgan Councillors for their information detailing the purpose of such attendances.
  2. Independent Members will present verbal reports to the Committee advising of the observations undertaken and/or suggesting any recommendations for improvement.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. Members will be remunerated for attendance under the allowance scheme agreed by the Independent Remuneration Panel and the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Constitution.  Independent Members are able to claim for a maximum of 10 days per annum as detailed within the Council's Constitution.

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 Committee (Wales) Amendment Regulations 2006.

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 consequence of this report.

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

None.

Contact Officer

Mrs. Karen Bowen, Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer, Tel: 01446 709856

Officers Consulted

None

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer and Head of Legal and Democratic Services