Venue: Committee Room A - County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, Powys. View directions
Contact: Carol Johnson 01597 826206
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Mr S Hays (Independent Member).
To authorise the Chair to sign the minutes of the previous meeting of the Sub Committee held on 3 October, 2018 as a correct record.
The Chair was authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 3 October, 2018 as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest from Members relating to items to be considered on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
To receive the report of the Solicitor to the Council.
The Committee received the report of the Solicitor to the Council (copy filed with signed minutes).
A Referral of Councillors to Public Services Ombudsman
A1. Town and Community Councillor Referrals
The current position regarding existing matters with the Ombudsman was as follows:
7/17/TCC Ombudsman investigating
6/18/TCC No action to be taken
7/18/TCC Complaint received – Ombudsman not investigating but now subject to review
8/18/TCC Ombudsman deciding whether or not to investigate
10/18/TCC Ombudsman deciding whether or not to investigate
11/18/TCC Ombudsman deciding whether or not to investigate
13/18/TCC Ombudsman investigating
15/18/TCC Ombudsman deciding whether or not to investigate
16/18/TCC Ombudsman deciding whether or not to investigate
17/18/TCC Ombudsman deciding whether or not to investigate
18/18/TCC Complaint received – not investigating
B1. Applications - Town and Community Councillors
No applications for dispensation have been received from Town or Community Councillors.
C Ombudsman’s Casebook
The Ombudsman had published Code of Conduct Casebook for the period July – September 2018.
D Arrangements to fill one vacancy arising from the completion of a term of office of an Independent [Lay] Member on the Standards Committee.
The Sub-Committee noted the Appointments process.
With the Chair’s agreement the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales’ [PSOW] Draft Corporate Plan 2019/20 – 2021/22 was considered by the Sub-Committee. It was noted that the consultation closed on 5 March, 2019.
The Sub-Committee considered the above with the Standards Committee members. The comments were as follows:
Strategic Aim 1
KPI 3 and KPI 4 – in response to comments that the timescales for completing investigations should be shorter the Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that the timescales were reasonable. However, investigations should be completed and closed as soon as possible, as delays cause unacceptable stress to the parties involved.
To raise awareness of the PSOW service and eliminate any know barriers to access from vulnerable groups [page 08]
The 1st action point needs to be clarified as it is not clear what this means. Is it a programme of activity once a year or an annual programme of activity? The Committee considered that this should be an annual programme of activity.
The 5th action point needs clarifying.
Strategic Aim 3 [page 12]
To adopt international best practice, to serve Wales in the best way we can
It is noted that the PSOW will strengthen its presence in North Wales but the Committees wonder what it intends to do in respect of Mid Wales.
A general comment was made that the Plan needs to be in plain English and Welsh, to ensure it is accessible to the public, as a whole.
E. Meeting Dates
To note dates of meetings:
Wednesday 5 June, 2019
Wednesday 2 October 2019