Venue: Committee Room A - County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, Powys. View directions
Contact: Carol Johnson 01597 826206
To receive apologies for absence.
There were no apologies for absence.
To authorise the Chair to sign the minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee held on 2 October, 2019 as a correct record.
The Chair was authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 2 October, 2019 as a correct record.
Declarations of interest
To receive any declarations of interest from Members relating to items to be considered on the agenda.
No declarations were received.
To receive the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.
The Committee received the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services (copy filed with signed minutes).
A. General Standards Issues for County Councillors and Co-opted
A1. Code of Conduct Training
The Committee noted that the mid-term mandatory Code of Conduct training had been scheduled for 5 June, 2020.
A2. Mandatory Training
The Committee noted that all Members had completed the mandatory training as required at the previous meeting. The Committee thanked the members for completing the training.
B. Referral of Councillors to the Public Services Ombudsman
B1. County Council Referrals
The current position regarding matters with the Ombudsman is detailed below:
01/CC/2018 Adjudication Panel for Wales [APW] suspended for four months – 20/11/19 – 20/03/20. The Committee received the APW report.
12/CC/2018 Concluded no breach. Review requested – No further action and case closed
04/CC/2019 Ombudsman deciding whether or not to investigate
05/CC/2019 Not investigating
06/CC/2019 Ombudsman deciding whether or not to investigate
07/CC/2019 Concluded not investigating
C1. Applications- County Councillors
No applications for dispensation had been received from County Councillors.
D. LatePayment of Expenses
The Committee noted there were no late claims for expenses.
E. Independent lay Member on Standards Committee
The Committee noted the appointments process.
F. Ombudsman’s Casebook
The Ombudsman had published the April – June 2019 and July – September 2019 Code of Conduct Casebooks.
G. The North Wales Standards Committee Forum
The Committee asked that the draft Local Government & Elections [Wales] Bill be considered. The Committee was asked to forward any other items to the Chair by the end of the week, for consideration.
H. Draft Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill
The Committee noted the draft Bill and the implications for the Committee. In response to questions the Head of Legal and Democratic Services advised that the provisional timetable was that the Bill would be passed in the autumn and become effective in April 2021.
The Committee considered that it could write an annual report, even before the Bill came into law. Comment was made that not all councillors understood the role of the Standards Committee. It was noted that the Committee’s agendas and minutes were available to all councillors but an annual report could provide a useful summary of its work. It was suggested that a work programme could be developed for the Committee.
It was noted that leaders of political groups may be required to take steps to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by members of their groups. The Head of Legal and Democratic Services advised that the Committee would need to ensure that group leaders could access advice and training to understand any new duty. In response to questions he advised that if issues regarding conduct were brought to ... view the full minutes text for item 4.