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Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Thursday, 3rd December, 2015 3.30 pm

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Meeting Room 5, Guildhall, Wrexham

Contact: Jane Johnson  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

14.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Anne Evans.

 

Ms J.M. Cotter asked that retrospective apologies be accepted for the recent meetings she had missed due to ill health.

15.

Declarations of Personal Interests if any

Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interest.

16.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To receive and confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Standards Committee held on 10 September 2015

Minutes:

Correction Page 5 – delete the word ‘Councillor’ prior to Mr Rob Dawson, Chair

 

RESOLVED – That, subject to the above correction, the Minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on 10 September 2015 be received and confirmed as a correct record.

17.

Welcome

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Ms J.E. Adams, independent member, to her first meeting of the Committee.

18.

Review of the Local Resolution Protocol pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To consider the report of the Deputy Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer submitted a report (HCCS/151/15) to enable the Committee to review the operation of the Local Resolution Protocol and Procedure adopted by the Council in September 2013.

 

Members were informed that there had been no instances recorded by the Monitoring Officer of any referral under the Members’ Self-Regulatory Protocol. In the absence of any instances of referral to the Monitoring Officer or Standards Committee it was agreed that a fundamental review at this time was not merited.

 

RESOLVED – That the contents of report HCCS/151/15 be noted and a further monitoring report be submitted to the Standards Committee in 12 months.

 

Reason for decision

 

To inform the Standards Committee of the operation of the Members’ Self-Regulatory Protocol and procedure since its adoption in September 2013.

19.

Feedback from the Standards Conference and Training for Members of the Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 5 MB

(a)  To receive oral feedback from members who attended the Conference and receive the presentations for discussion as appropriate.

 

(b)  The most recent code of conduct training is also attached – it has already been to Committee but is a useful refresher and serves as part of the induction for new members.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received feedback from Members who had attended the Standards Conference 2015 and were provided with slides from the presentations given in relation to the following topics:

 

Local Resolution Process – Rhonda Cynon Taf Experience

Are the Nolan Principles fit for purpose now & in 20 years?

Social Media – Staying in touch/Staying out of trouble

Whistleblowing

Community and Town Councils – Governance and Standards

 

Members who had attended said it had been a good day and very informative and it was suggested that the information be circulated to all Councillors.

 

A copy of the most recent code of conduct training was also provided to Members. Although it had already been to Committee it was a useful refresher and served as part of the induction for new members.

 

RESOLVED -  That the information be noted.

20.

Urgent Item - Welsh Government Consultation Document – Conduct of Local Government Members pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To consider the report of the Deputy Monitoring Officer

 

Minutes:

The Chair was of the opinion that this item should be dealt with as a matter of urgency by reason of the fact that responses to the Consultation had to be submitted to the Welsh Government prior to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

The Monitoring Officer submitted a report (HCCS/156/15) seeking the Committee’s views on the content of the following draft Statutory Instruments  to be made under Part III of the Local Government Act 2000 in relation to the conduct of Local Government Members in Wales and related matters -

 

(i)            The Local Government (Standards Committees, Investigations, Dispensations and Referral) (Wales) Regulations 2016; and

(ii)          The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2016.

 

The Deputy Monitoring Officer reported that the draft Statutory Instruments gave effect to, or were consequential upon, policy proposals set out in the 2012 “Promoting Local Democracy” White Paper, provisions of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 and related matters. This consultation was a technical one on the drafting of the Statutory Instruments themselves and in order to facilitate completion of the legislative process before the National Assembly Elections in May 2016, the consultation period had been limited to six weeks closing on 10 January 2016.

 

The Committee considered the key proposals and associated questions that were the most pertinent to the work of the Committee. Members had no specific comments and generally supported the proposal.

 

RESOLVED – That the consultation document be noted and the proposals supported.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that the Council’s response incorporates the views of the Standards Committee which has responsibility for matters relating to the conduct of Members.

21.

End of Term of Office

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer informed Members that this would be the last quarterly meeting for Mr Rob Dawson, Chair, as his term of office as an independent member of the Committee ended later in the month. On behalf of the Authority the Monitoring Officer thanked Mr Dawson for his valued leadership and contribution to the work of the Standards Committee over the 9 years he had been a independent member and wished him all the very best for the future.