Venue: held remotely via video-conference
Contact: Nia Jones
Councillor Clive Davies apologised for his inability to attend the meeting.
Disclosure of personal / prejudicial interests
It was RESOLVED
to confirm as a true record the minutes of the meeting held 15th
Item 9 - Members asked if there would
be further meetings with the Chief Executive prior to the pre-election
period. It was noted that the Welsh
Government published its Transition Strategy on 4th March 2022 which
would take the COVID-19 response in Wales from pandemic to endemic. It was therefore agreed that unless the Chief
Executive felt that there was a requirement for a meeting prior to the
pre-election period, that there was no need for a meeting in March.
Item 13 – Members asked if there are
any updates relating to the Remuneration Panel. It was noted that the IRPW
published its final report was published last week which was too late to bring
a report to this Committee; however it was confirmed that there are no changes
in relation to the proposed remuneration as outlined in the IRPW’s draft
report. It was noted that a report would be presented to Council early in the
Item 14 – Members asked about the
roll-out of ‘CLIC version 2’, noting that they do not always receive
notification that action has been carried out, and stating that responses to
Councillor should be prioritised.
Officers confirmed that we are in the process of transferring to CLIC2,
which will give Members access to information and updates via ‘My Account’. The system is currently being tested and
expected to go live next month.
The Corporate Lead Officer for Customer Contact presented a report to
the committee, outlining the proposed ICT equipment to be provided to
Members. It was noted that as a result
of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant shift towards a more
digital way of working corporately, in school and with the Council which is a
continuation of a journey set out several years ago to work in a digital, as
opposed to a paper based approach. Hybrid equipment is currently being
installed in the Council Chambers which will facilitate a flexible approach,
reducing travelling time and costs for Councillors and Staff, however Members
would require a laptop to access the hybrid solution as it cannot be accessed
via Android or Apply applications.
It was proposed that Members are offered the same provisions as council
staff, namely a Windows laptop, and
two 24" screens. Office 365 account
would be installed providing Word, Excel and access to e-mails. Members would
also be able to install Office 365 on up to 5 other devices, for use from their
personal mobile devices. Members would
be required to sign an acceptable usage agreement for personal use of
equipment, within reason. It was noted
that this proposal conforms to the necessary security requirements, ensuring
improved cyber resilience and ensuring all Members are compliant with GDPR.
Printing facilities would be provided at Canolfan Rheidol and Penmorfa,
due to the cost of providing and operating personal printers, and Members would
be able to send documents to the post-room for printing and posting. It was noted that appropriate training would
be provided on issued devices with support provided via the ICT service desk.
Members noted that i-pads are
useful for working in the community, in order to be able to show documents to
residents that may not otherwise be able to access the internet, and for
attending meetings from alternative locations, other than at home. Members also asked whether the Council was
offering a secure i-pad platform to Officers, which has not been offered to
Members. Officers noted that alternative
solutions are being considered and tested for cyber security, however there was
also a need to ensure that Members are able to access the hybrid system.
Members noted that it can be useful to download and print Council
papers, especially when chairing a meeting. Officers confirmed that two large
screens would be provided which facilities the reading of documents on one
screen whilst following the meeting on another.
Members also noted that it is impracticable to travel in order to
print. Officers reminded Members of the
Council’s commitment to reducing paper many years ago, noting that Officers
personal printers have been completely eliminated.
Members asked whether alternative tablets could be used e.g. Microsoft Tablets. It was confirmed that specialist tablets can be extremely costly and that Members would need to identify funding to meet additional costs. Members noted that the paper was written from the perspective of an Officer which did not recognise the needs of Councillors, ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
The Corporate Manager for Democratic Services presented a
report to the committee, providing an update on the main aspects of the Local
Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 relevant to the committee. It was
noted that various protocols have been drafted including a Public Participation
Scheme, a petition Scheme and electronic broadcasting of meetings, however we
are still waiting for the Welsh Government to publish the statutory and
non-statutory guidance. It is anticipated that consultation on draft guidance
will take place during the pre-election period, and implemented by September
Following discussion it was RESOLVED to note the update to the report relating to the Local
Government and Elections (Wales) Act specific to the Democratic Services
The Corporate Manager for Democratic Services presented a report to the
committee, giving an overview of the mechanism for supporting hybrid meetings.
Members asked whether all Councillors should attend Council meetings in
person, and were advised that the purpose of the legislation is to ensure
accessibility to all Members, including persons that may not be able to attend
in person for various reasons. Members
also asked if there would be a limit on the number of persons able to attend in
person and were advised that this would be subject to the legislation at that
discussion it was RESOLVED to note
the vision for conducting hybrid meetings from May 2022.
The Corporate Manager for Democratic Services presented a report to the
committee, noting that it is anticipated that further guidance will be provided
by the Welsh Minister as part of the bundle of Statutory and non-Statutory
guidance currently being developed by Welsh Government clarifying the requirement
relating to Councillor Induction and training. Members were advised that the
training schedule presented to the Committee in October 2021 had been revised
to reflect the anticipated changes resulting from the Local Government and
Elections (Wales) Act, and training needs identified by Members during recent
meetings and reminded that training is compulsory prior to sitting on
committees such as Development Management and Licensing. Group Leaders were advised to remind their
Members of the importance of attending the training sessions.
Members asked whether the time of meetings and training should be
revised, and were reminded of the regular survey conducted, which will be
issued to all Members early in the next administration.
Following discussion it was RESOLVED
to note the report.
The Scrutiny Officer presented the report to the Committee noting that
the Democratic Services Committee had agreed in January 2020 to continue to
carry out the survey on an annual basis and to reduce the number of questions
with an aim to increase participation. The number of responses had however
reduced to 15 compared to 25 for the previous year.
It was RESOLVED to note the