Agenda and draft minutes

Ethics and Standards Committee - Wednesday, 1st May, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conference

Contact: Lisa Evans 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

None.

2.

Declaration of personal/prejudicial interest

Minutes:

Councillor Caryl Roberts declared a personal interest in item 4 and 5.

 

3.

Confidential item

The Monitoring Officer has determined that Category 8 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules applies to the following report (item 4 and 5).  Her view on the public interest test (having taken account of the provisions of Rule 11.8 of the Council’s Access to Information Rules) was that to make this information public would disclose information relating to a particular individual and would allow information to enter the public domain before the individual has had an opportunity to make representations in respect of it.  These factors in her view outweigh the public interest in disclosing the information at this stage.

 

Members are asked to consider these factors when determining the public interest test, which they must decide when considering whether:

         the exempt item should remain exempt, and

         to exclude the public from the meeting.

 

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer had determined that Category 12& 13 of the Access to Information (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007 applies to the following report (items 4 and 5). Her view on the public interest test (having taken account of the provisions of Rule 10.5 of the Council’s Access to Information Rules) was that to make this information public would disclose information relating to a particular individual and would allow information to enter the public domain before the individual has had an opportunity to make representations in respect of it. These factors in her view outweigh the public interest in disclosing the information at this stage.

Members were requested to consider these factors when determining the public interest test, which they must decide when considering whether:

   • the exempt item should remain exempt, and

   • to exclude the public and press from the meeting.

 

The Committee AGREED that:

i) the public interest test in maintaining the exemption was satisfied

ii) items 4 & 5 should remain exempt

 iii) to exclude the public and the press from the Committee during such consideration, in accordance with Part 4 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Access to Information (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007

 

4.

Report by Public Services Ombudsman for Wales - report into alleged breach of Powys County Council's Code of Conduct for Members

The report relating to the item above is not for publication as it contains exempt information as defined in paragraph 12 and 13 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007. If, following the application of the Public Interest Test, the Council resolves to consider this item in private, the public and press will be excluded from the meeting during such consideration, in accordance with Section 100B(2) of the Act.

 

Members will be requested, when dealing with the items, to consider whether to exclude the public and press from the Meeting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report relating to the item below was not for publication as it contains exempt information as defined in paragraph 12 and 13 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007.

 

 

The Committee AGREED:

(i)that the procedures to be adopted by the Ethics and Standards Committee in carrying out its functions and making its determination be those incorporated in Part 5 Doc. S of Ceredigion County Council’s Constitution, attached to this Report (Appendix 1).

(ii) to note the acceptance by the Monitoring Officer of  the transfer of this case from the Powys County Council Standards Committee.

(iii)to consider the report of the Public Services Ombudsman   dated 20th November 2023 (Appendix 2), in respect of a Councillor, and

iv) to make its initial determination in accordance with Regulation 7 of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers & Standards Committees ( Wales)  Regulations 2001.

 

Reason for decision:

To comply with the requirements under the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales)

Regulations 2001.

 

5.

Report by Public Services Ombudsman for Wales - report into alleged breach of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority Code of Conduct for Members

The report relating to the item above is not for publication as it contains exempt information as defined in paragraph 12 and 13 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007. If, following the application of the Public Interest Test, the Council resolves to consider this item in private, the public and press will be excluded from the meeting during such consideration, in accordance with Section 100B(2) of the Act.

 

Members will be requested, when dealing with the items, to consider whether to exclude the public and press from the Meeting.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report relating to the item below was not for publication as it contains exempt information as defined in paragraph 12 and 13 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007.

 

The Committee RESOLVED:

(i)that the procedures to be adopted by the Ethics and Standards Committee in carrying out its functions and making its determination be those incorporated in Part 5 Doc. S of Ceredigion County Council’s Constitution, attached to this Report (Appendix 1).

(ii) to note the acceptance by the Monitoring Officer of   the transfer of this case from the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority   Standards Committee.

(iii)to consider the report of the Public Services Ombudsman  dated 20th November 2023 (Appendix 3), in respect of a Councillor, and

iv) make its initial determination in accordance with Regulation 7 of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers & Standards Committees (Wales)   Regulations 2001.

 

Reason for decision:

To comply with the requirements under the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales)

Regulations 2001.

 

 

The Committee retired to deliberate in private. The Monitoring Officer was in attendance to advise the Committee.

 

Following deliberations by the Committee, the Committee, public, press and Officers returned to public session.

 

The Chair confirmed that the Committee had RESOLVED as follows:

 

Item 4:

1) on considering the Ombudsman’s Investigation Report dated 20th November 2023 (Appendix 3) that there is evidence which might amount to a failure to comply with the code of conduct to give the County councillor the opportunity to make representations, either orally or in writing at a future meeting in respect of the findings of the investigation and any allegation that he or she has failed, or may have failed, to comply with the code of conduct in accordance with the procedures adopted above.

 

Reason for decision:

To comply with its obligations pursuant to Regulation 7 (b) of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001

 

2) A further meeting would be arranged on 8th July 2024   to determine the matter.

 

Reason for decision:

To comply with its obligations under the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

 

 

Item 5:

1) on considering the Ombudsman’s Investigation Report dated 20th November 2023 (Appendix 3) that there is evidence which might amount to a failure to comply with the code of conduct to give the former authority  councillor the opportunity to make representations, either orally or in writing at a future meeting in respect of the findings of the investigation and any allegation that he  or she has failed, or may have failed, to comply with the code of conduct in accordance with the procedures adopted  above.

 

Reason for decision:

To comply with its obligations pursuant to Regulation 7 (b) of the Local Government Investigations (Functions of Monitoring Officers and Standards Committees) (Wales) Regulations 2001

 

 

2)A further meeting would be arranged  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.