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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Marie Russell  Committee Officer

Items
No. Item

15.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Bernie McCann.

16.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services provided advice to Members in relation to the following item of business:

 

Agenda Item 6 - Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales.

 

The Monitoring Officer advised that all Members appeared to have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of Agenda Item 6 which dealt with Member allowances and it would be advisable that they all declared such an interest in this matter. All Members present, apart from Councillor Carole O’Toole agreed to declare a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 6 but claimed the exemption against it being a prejudicial interest contained in paragraph 12(2)(b) of the Member Code of Conduct. Councillor Carole O’Toole gave notice of her intention to declare a further personal and prejudicial interest in respect of this Agenda Item for reasons other than being a Member of the Council.

17.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 29 October 2015.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 29 October 2015 were submitted.

 

AGREED – That the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 October 2015 be received and confirmed as a correct record.

 

18.

Member Development Programme 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report (HCCS) allowing Members to consider a proposed Member Development Programme for the coming year.  The Head of Democratic Services advised the Committee that whilst she was responsible for ensuring that the training needs of Members were addressed through the Member Development Programme, the Training Team had overall responsibility for ensuring appropriate delivery of that Programme.

 

During discussion of the report, the following issues were highlighted:

  

·         In acknowledging that some Members struggled to attend all core training sessions due to their pattern of employment, Sue Pope, Training Manager suggested that Members bring any issues to the attention of the Training Team so they could consider alternative training arrangements with a view to ensuring that Members were not disadvantaged. 

·         It was noted that the Training Team were happy to adopt a flexible approach in relation to the training they provided, e.g. alternative times, smaller groups etc., but that this approach required open dialogue and two way communication between Members and the Training Team. 

·         It was suggested that issues around attendance could be passed to the Training Manager via the Group Leaders.

·         Acknowledgment that the % figures for Member attendance at training events in 2015/16 (Appendix 2 refers) could be misleading in that the % figures did not take into account the fact that a number of the training and developing events were targeted at a limited or specific group of Members e.g. Environmental Licensing, Rota Visitors etc. and not all 52 Members.

·         Confirmation that the Training Team were working in partnership with the All Wales Academy to ensure that e-learning was accessible through all electronic media.  It was noted that the All Wales Academy was now partnered with the NHS who provide the platform for e-learning and that this provided access to a wide portfolio of subjects. 

 

The Chair acknowledged that Sue Pope would be leaving the Local Authority later this month.  On behalf of the Committee she thanked her for her contribution to the work of the Committee to date and wished her well for the future.

 

AGREED:

 

(i)            That Members recommend to Council that the proposed programme for the coming year (as attached as Appendix 1 to the report) be adopted.

(ii)          That Group Leaders or nominated Members conduct Member Development Interviews individually or as a group and submit the training and development requirements to Workforce Development by the end of February 2017.

(iii)         That Members complete the Authority’s E-Learning core modules: Equality in the Workplace, Equality Act 2010 and Equality Impact Assessments.

(iv)         That Members attendance and reasons for non-attendance at Core Training sessions (including difficulties in attending training) is reported quarterly to Political Group Leaders.

 

19.

Review of Member Development Strategy pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report (HCCS/34/16) allowing Members to consider proposals for reviewing the Member Development Strategy adopted by Council on 25 September 2013.

 

It was noted that there had been a typing error within paragraph 2.2 of the report and that ‘…May 2017’ should be replaced with ‘…May 2016.’

 

AGREED – That a survey of Members be carried out with a view to conducting an evaluation and review of the Member Development Strategy in Autumn 2016.

 

20.

Members' Remuneration: Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Corporate and Customer Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(The Chair vacated her seat prior to discussion of the report (HCCS/32/16) and the Vice Chair presided as Chair for this item only).

 

The Head of Corporate and Customer Services submitted a report (HCCS/32/16) allowing Members to consider the changes to the Members’ Remuneration Panel for Wales’ report (February 2016).

 

In discussing Executive Members, a proposal was put forward and seconded for Option 2 – to reduce the current Senior Salary for all eight Executive Board Members to £26,100 (Level 2).  The proposal was subsequently put to the vote and lost.

 

In discussing Chair of Committees, a proposal was put forward and seconded for Option 2 – to reduce the current Senior Salary for all seven Committee Chairs to £20,000 (Level 2).  The proposal was subsequently put to the vote and lost.

 

AGREED: That Members recommend to Council:

 

(i)            That this Authority continues to pay all portfolio holders the same Senior Salary in accordance with level 1 Group B of the IRP recommended salary scales i.e. £29,000 per annum.

(ii)          The remuneration for all Chairs should remain at level 1 Group B of the IRP recommended salary scales i.e. £22,000 per annum.

(Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Conduct, Councillor Carole O’Toole declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of this item, by virtue of having a relative on the Panel, and left the meeting taking no part in the discussion and vote thereon).

21.

Web-casting of Council Meetings pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report (HCCS/22/16) allowing Members the opportunity to monitor the webcasting of meetings.

 

During discussion of the report, the following issues were highlighted:

 

·         Ongoing concerns with the microphones and acoustics were noted.  Officers advised that the microphones were fit for purpose but that if they were not used correctly then issues with sound would arise. 

·         Whilst generally supportive of a pilot a number of Members raised questions around the benefits of webcasting Scrutiny Committees given that they were non decision making bodies.  It was felt that the Council Chamber did not lend itself well to the informal nature of Scrutiny Committee meetings  and concern that webcasting the meetings could stifle debate.  It was also suggested that the number of ‘hits’ should be treated with caution as tuning into a webcast for as little as 2 minutes would still register as a ‘hit’.

·         Suggestion that the webcasting of Scrutiny ‘call-ins’ would make the best use of the 10 hours available as by their very nature issues ‘called in’ were often of public interest.

 

The Head of Democratic Services noted the issues raised but stressed that since its introduction in Wrexham, webcasting had generally been without any major issues despite the fact that a single member of staff was in attendance to operate webcasting as compared with other Local Authorities where it was usual to have two officers designated to operate the webcasting of meetings. 

 

AGREED:

 

(i)            Members note the current position with webcasting of Council meetings.

(ii)          If webcasting hours are available after all Scrutiny Committees have piloted webcasting, the first ‘call in’ should be webcast, subject to the usual constraints.

(iii)         The concerns raised by Members should be noted.

22.

Any other items which the Chair decides are urgent

Minutes:

Local elections in May 2017

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that arrangements would be made for an open evening for prospective new members in early Autumn.