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To authorise the Chair to sign the minutes of the previous meeting(s) of the Committee held on the following dates(s) as a correct record:
· 16th August 2016
· 2nd November 2016
The Chair was authorised to sign the minutes of the meetings held on the 16th August 2016 and 2nd November 2016 as a correct record.
To receive apologies for absence.
No apologies for absence were received. It was noted that two newly appointed Members of the Standards Committee were unable to take part in this meeting as they had not been Members of the Standards Committee when the matter was originally heard on 2nd November 2016.
Declarations of interest
To receive any declarations of interest from Members relating to items to be considered on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were received. It was noted that Councillor K Roberts-Jones and Independent Member H Rhydderch-Roberts had not been invited to take part in this meeting as they had previously declared an interest in the matter before the meeting.
To receive the report of the Deputy Monitoring Officer in relation to County Councillor Gary Price.
The Report of the Deputy Monitoring Officer and enclosures were submitted.
The Chair noted that Councillor Price had been invited to attend the meeting on 26th May 2017 but had indicated that he was unable to make that date. Members requested details of the correspondence between the Deputy Monitoring Officer and Councillor Price regarding the date of this meeting. The following correspondence was considered:
· Email dated 16.03.17, Email dated 30.03.17, Letter dated 27.03.17, Email dated 31.03.17, Email dated 11.05.17, Email dated 15.05.17, Email dated 16.05.17.
Further, as requested email dated 22.05.17 asking if he wished to make any written representations to place before the Committee on the 26th May 2017. No response was received.
The Committee referred to Section 220.127.116.11 of the Constitution which stated that on receipt of a referral back to the Standards Committee from the Adjudication Panel for Wales ‘the Standards Committee shall meet as soon as reasonably practicable to consider the recommendation of the appeals tribunal and will determine whether or not it should uphold its original determination or accept the recommendation’.
The Committee unanimously agreed to continue with the Hearing in the absence of Councillor Price on the grounds that Councillor Price had not indicated a reason for his being unable to attend or requested the meeting be held on a different date.
The Deputy Monitoring Officer presented her report. She explained that the purpose of this meeting was to consider the recommendation of the Adjudication Panel for Wales that the sanction for Councillor Price for breaching the Code of Conduct be reduced from the 5 months that had been determined by the Standards Committee on 2nd November 2016 to 3 months.
She advised that the findings of fact as set out in the APW report were now settled and could not be revisited and drew attention to the aggravating and mitigating factors outlined in pages 9 and 10 of the report.
Members asked if the Councillors Kath Roberts-Jones and Michael Williams had received a written apology as indicated by Councillor Gary Price during the APW Appeal Hearing. The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that both Councillor Roberts-Jones and Williams had confirmed that they had received no written apology from Councillor Price as outlined in the APW report.
Members asked if there was a right of appeal after the determination to be made at this meeting. If was confirmed that there was a right of appeal to the High Court to seek judicial review which related solely to matters regarding process. Neither courses of action would stop the suspension from commencing on the 27th May 2017.
The Committee retired to consider the matter at 10.20.
The Deputy Monitoring Officer was asked to provide advice on the mitigating factors outlined in the APW report including, in relation to the letters of apology, what was meant by ‘when the proceedings are concluded’ (section 6.1 of the APW report).
The Committee returned at 11.40.
The Committee determined as follows:
1. To follow the recommendations ... view the full minutes text for item 24-2017