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Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Thursday, 6th September, 2018 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 2, Guildhall, Wrexham

Contact: Jane Johnson  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

11.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Ms Julie Adams, Mr Neil Benson, Mrs Claire Blanchard and Councillor I David Bithell, MBE.

12.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

13.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 June 2018

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 June 2018 were submitted.

 

Correction to Minutes

 

Minute 9 – Dates and Times of Meetings

 

It was noted that the dates of the Standards Committee Meetings in 2018/2019 were incorrect.  The correct dates are as follows:

 

Thursday 6 December 2018 at 2.00pm

Thursday 7 March 2019 at 3.30pm

Thursday 6 June 2019 at 3.30pm

 

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 June 2018 be signed as a correct record, subject to the aforementioned amendments.

14.

Public Service Ombudsman for Wales Annual Report pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer submitted a report (HCCS/48/18) to inform Members of the publication of the Annual Report and Accounts of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales 2017/18 entitled “Innovation, Improvement, Influence”.

 

The Deputy Monitoring Officer drew Members’ attention to paragraph 4.1 of the report which contained details of the Code of Conduct complaints received in respect of members of different types of public bodies.  It was noted that complaints regarding Community Councils had risen compared to previous years, but figures for other bodies had remained static.  The majority of complaints were in relation to equality and respect.  It was suggested that Town and Community Councils be advised of the increase in complaints.

 

Members were referred to paragraph 4.6 which reported that there had been four complaints in respect of Llay Community Council.  However, three of these were closed after initial consideration and the fourth was investigated further but required no further action.

 

In response to a question, Members were advised that Community Councils were encouraged to seek a resolution where issues arose.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To inform Members of the work undertaken by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

15.

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales - The Code of Conduct Casebook pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer submitted a report (HCCS/49/18) asking Members to consider the recent decisions of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) published in the Code of Conduct Casebook.

 

The Deputy Monitoring Officer referred to the case regarding Llay Community Council.  It was noted that the Ombudsman carried out an investigation and there had been some confusion as to whether a declaration of interest should have been made.  As a result it was suggested that some additional training be provided.  The Monitoring Officer and Deputy Monitoring Officer had since provided training which had been very well attended.

 

RESOLVED – That the decisions reported in the Code of Conduct Casebook be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To inform Members of the work undertaken by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

16.

Urgent Item of Business - Adjudication Panel for Wales

Minutes:

The Deputy Monitoring Officer referred to new sanctions guidance recently issued by the Adjudication Panel for Wales setting out the approach to be taken in order to reach fair, proportionate and consistent decisions on the actions that should be applied in relation to an individual’s breach of the local Code of Conduct.  It was noted that whilst the guidance set examples of things to consider, it was also made clear that there could be mitigating factors in each case which would also need to be considered.

 

RESOLVED – That the Adjudication Panel for Wales – Sanctions Guidance be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To inform Members of the new Sanctions Guidance.