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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 1, Guildhall

Contact: Marie Russell  Committee Officer

Items
No. Item

11.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors T Alan Edwards, Rondo Roberts and J R Skelland.

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:

The Monitoring Officer provided advice to Members in relation to the following item of business:

 

Agenda Item 4 – Members’ Remuneration:

The Monitoring Officer advised that all Members appeared to have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of Agenda Item 4 which dealt with Member allowances and it would be advisable that they all declared such an interest in this matter. All Members present agreed to declare a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 4 but claimed the exemption against it being a prejudicial interest contained in paragraph 12(2)(b) of the Member Code of Conduct.

 

13.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 July 2017.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2017 were submitted.

 

AGREED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 July 2017 be signed as a correct record.

14.

Members' Remuneration - Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales pdf icon PDF 107 KB

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

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute  12 above)

 

The Head of Corporate and Customer Services submitted a report (HCCS/67/17) enabling the Committee to consider the changes to the Members’ Remuneration Scheme proposed within the draft Annual Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) in order to inform a response to the consultation by no later than 29th November 2017.

 

The Head of Democratic Services introduced the report and responded to questions accordingly thereafter. 

 

In discussing the report, Members noted the following, in particular:

 

·         The Local Authority, as a Body, had no discretion in terms of determining Members basic salary, (which was set by the IRPW).  However, there was a general consensus from the Committee that the IRPW’s proposal to increase the basic salary for Elected Members by £200 per annum was inappropriate.  Members made reference to the current climate of financial austerity, referring in particular the ongoing cuts to public sector services and the impact this was having on both staff and services.

·         Concern that the IRPW, were proposing to set a single salary using the higher rate.  Members suggested that in removing the two-tier payments for the lower level payment should be retained.

·         Acknowledgement that the basic average salary in Wrexham were not reflected in the proposals contained in the report.

 

AGREED –

 

(i)            The Committee wished to express its disappointment with the report which it felt did not reflect the wider economic picture for public services ;

(ii)          The IRPW be requested to provide the reasoning behind the proposal to retain the higher level payment for Executive Members and Committee Chairs (in removing the two-tier payments) ;

(iii)         All Councillors be requested to give serious consideration to forgoing any proposed pay rise, in order to show solidarity with the community they represented.

15.

Digital Working for Members pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services.

 

 

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report (HCCS/70/17) enabling the Committee to consider the merits of reliance on digital equipment for circulating meeting agendas to Members rather than providing paper copies.

 

The Head of Democratic Services introduced the report and responded to questions accordingly thereafter. 

 

In discussing the report, Members noted the following, in particular:

 

·         Suggestion that Chairs should receive hard copies of the Agendas for the meetings which they presided over.  Estimated costs for this service were provided to Members. 

·         Concern at the cost to the Council in providing Members with protective covers for their iPad and the suggestion that Members should pay for their own cover in future.

·         The need for more intense training on the iPad which would reduce the requirement for hard copies.

·         Confirmation that the actual cost of providing Members with iPads, including the protective case, was almost half that of the original printing cost and so the cost saving overall to the Council was significant.

·         It was noted that iPads aided confidentiality.

·         Recognition that the IRPW would not wish Councillors to incur costs in working with their iPads and so the billing of Councillors for hard copies would be discouraged.

 

AGREED:

 

(i)  The Committee support the use of ipads due to the considerable savings ;

(ii) The Committee urge Members to pay for their own iPad ;

(iii) Members be provided with an opportunity to pay for their own paper copies but that they be urged to print their own copies off where possible.

16.

Update on Member Development pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report (HCCS/72/17) providing an update on member development since 1st April 2017 and allowing Members to consider training and development needs for 2018/19.

 

The Head of Democratic Services introduced the report and responded to questions accordingly thereafter. 

 

In discussing the report, Members noted the following, in particular:

 

·         Following some initial problems Officers confirmed that the majority of e-learning modules could now be accessed via the iPad.  It was noted that an app could be purchased which would enable access to the e-learning site via the iPad.  Members requested that this be followed up.

·         Request for the timetable of training modules to include a 5pm until 6pm session in order to assist those Members who worked during the day.  Officers confirmed that the timetable for training would be based on demand.  It was suggested that a survey to determine the times that would most benefit Members be circulated via email.

·         The Training Officer to contact Group leaders to organise training for annual reviews.

·         Offices to circulate the development review template to Members. 

·         It was noted that sessions could take place in political groups.

·         Recognition that the Member Development meetings would help to inform the Annual plan.

·         Recognition that a number of training modules were classed as ‘core’.  Members should be discouraged from sitting on certain Committees until they had attended the relevant core training or the Council, as a Body, could be at risk of challenge.

·         The need to establish how long a training session remained valid before a refresher session was required.  Officers advised that training was repeated annually as a means of providing useful refresher sessions to Members.  If training was required as a result of changes to constitution Members would be notified.

 

AGREED – The Committee commend the training department on the work undertaken to date in progressing the e-learning modules.

17.

Review of Member Development Strategy pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services.

 

 

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report (HCCS/71/17) allowing Members to consider proposals for reviewing the Member Development Strategy revised and adopted by Council on 25th September 2013.

 

AGREED – The Committee support a survey of Members with a view to conducting an evaluation and review of the Member Development Strategy in January/February 2018.

18.

Any other items which the Chair decides are urgent

Minutes:

Appointment of Head of Corporate and Customer Services

 

The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, congratulated the Head of Democratic Services on her recent appointment.