Application for Dispensation by Members of Gresford Community Council
- Meeting of Standards Committee, Thursday, 7th December, 2017 3.30 pm (Item 21.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 21.
To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer
(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 19 above)
The Monitoring Officer submitted a report (HCCS/77/17) to enable Members to consider an application by members of Gresford Community Council for a dispensation to take part in and vote on business in which they may have a prejudicial interest by virtue of their membership of Gresford and District War Memorial Community Centre Trust (Gresford Trust).
The Clerk to Gresford Community Council had submitted an application for a dispensation on behalf of six Members of the Community Council, three of whom were Trustees of the Gresford Trust and also Members of the Community Council and three of whom were Members of the Community Council appointed to represent the Community Council on the Gresford Trust.
The Standards Committee considered the application for dispensation in respect of the two categories of Members separately. Firstly the three Members of Gresford Community Council who had been nominated to represent the Community Council on the Gresford Trust. These Members could rely on the exemption afforded by paragraph 12(2)(a)(iii) of the Code of Conduct for Members as they had been nominated by their authority to the Gresford Trust, provided the business before the Community Council did not relate to the determination of any approval, consent, licence, permission or registration. As these were not matters for which the Community Council had responsibility the Standards Committee agreed that a dispensation in addition to the exemption was not strictly necessary for these three Members.
The Clerk of the Community Council and Community Councillors Mrs Jen Dutton and Janet Holmes were present at the meeting to provide additional information in support of the application and responded to questions from the Committee regarding the following:
Participation in meetings – The Clerk and Community Councillors explained that having the Members present at meetings improved the quality of decision making. The Members were able to provide additional background information at meetings which might otherwise lead to a decision being delayed whilst the Clerk sought the information requested.
Quorum – attendance was usually good and the Clerk had never struggled to achieve a quorum. The Clerk confirmed that if a situation arose, whereby a meeting became inquorate by excluding the three Members, then the decision would be delayed as none of the three Members would take part in the vote.
Voting – The Community Councillors confirmed that they always declared an interest when items regarding Gresford Trust were considered and that they did not vote on these items.
The Standards Committee then considered the application under Regulations 2(d), (f) and (h) of the Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001.
(i) That a dispensation be granted to the following Members of Gresford Community Council who are also Trustees of Gresford Trust (‘the Members’):
Community Councillor Andrew Bailey
Community Councillor Mrs Jen Dutton
Community Councillor Janet Holmes
(ii) That the dispensation be granted pursuant to Regulation 2 (d), (f) and (h) of the Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001.
(iii) That the terms of the dispensation are as follows:-
(a) The dispensation applies only to business considered by Gresford Community Council relating to the Gresford and District War Memorial Community Centre Trust and enables the Members to remain in the meeting and participate in discussion on these items but not to take part in the vote.
(b) The Members relying on the dispensation must comply with the provisions of paragraph 14(3)(b) of the Code of Conduct for Members.
(c) The dispensation will expire on 30 April 2022.
Reason for decisions
To enable Members of the Gresford Community Council to participate in consideration of matters relating to Gresford and District War Memorial Community Centre Trust with the benefit of a statutory dispensation.