Agenda and draft minutes

Ethics and Standards Committee - Wednesday, 25th May, 2022 10.00 am

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

Contact: Dana Jones 

Items
No. Item

1.

Personal Matters

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed to the meeting the new County Councillors, Councillor Gwyn Evans and Caryl Roberts.

2.

Apologies

Minutes:

Mr John Weston apologised for his inability to attend the meeting.

3.

Disclosures of Personal / Prejudicial interest

Minutes:

None.

4.

To confirm as a true record the minutes of the meeting of the Ethics &Standards Committee held on 17 January 2022 pdf icon PDF 452 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED to confirm as a true record of the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 January 2022 subject to amending the word at the end of the decision on item 7 (b) to received.

 

5.

To confirm as a true record the minutes of the meeting of the Ethics & Standards Committee held on 07 February 2022 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED to confirm as a true record of the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 07 February 2022

6.

Matters arising

Minutes:

Minutes 17/01/2022- Item 3, Under Any Other Business-The Monitoring Officer reported that it had been agreed with Powys County Council that Members of the Ceredigion Ethics and Standards Committee would also be Members of the Corporate Joint Committee for Mid Wales Joint Standards

Committee. However, the number of Members required was awaited, and subject to advice from the Brecon Beacons Authority on the committee’s composition.

7.

Annual Report from the Chair of the Ethics and Standards Committee 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 766 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Annual Report from the Chair of Ethics and Standards Committee 2021/22. The Chair thanked officers for preparing the Annual Report.

           

The Committee agreed to APPROVE the draft Ethics and Standards Committee Annual Report 2021/22 subject to amending the figure on page 32 of the report.

8.

Succession planning-lay member pdf icon PDF 561 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Report upon the Succession planning-lay member. Following discussion, it was AGREED to recommend to Council to approve:

(i) the role description, person specification and criteria (as set out in Appendix)

(ii) Membership of the Selection Panel as follows:

• Chair of the Council(in absence Vice Chair);

•Independent/Lay Panel member (nominated by the Monitoring Officer)

• Chair and Vice Chair of the Ethics and Standards Committee (or other

independent members nominated by the Monitoring Officer as necessary)

• Town and Community Council representative nominated by One Voice Wales; and

(iii) change the title of job description to role description in the Appendix

 

9.

Town/Community Council Councillor recruitment-update pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Minutes:

It was AGREED to note the update provided and during the process that gender balance of the committee be considered, if possible during appointment.

10.

Code of Conduct decisions by the Ombudsman pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Minutes:

It was AGREED to note the Code of Conduct decisions presented since the publication of the last Casebook. Members agreed with the new format of presenting this information. This information would also be circulated to Group Leaders and used as training material.

11.

Update on Code of Conduct matters-Update on recent press articles

Minutes:

None.

12.

Councillor Complaint Trends - 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Councillor Complaint Trends 2021/22. It was AGREED to note the report for information; and in future a report of trends would be presented, possibly with more general detail if the Monitoring Officer found this acceptable. Also; Group Leaders would be involved on the outset of any complaints of their Councillors in the future; due to their new responsibility of appraising trends and improving standards during the new administration

13.

ESC Hearings Procedures pdf icon PDF 404 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the revised Hearing Procedure document. Following discussion, it was AGREED to recommend the document for approval by Council on 07 July 2022 subject to amending the numbering. The flow chart in relation to the Hearing Procedures would also be circulated to Members.

14.

Update on Adjudication Panel for Wales matters

Minutes:

It was AGREED to note the decision that had been circulated on email as follows on the decision for Councillors Bishop, P Morgan, W Owen and D Poole.

15.

Update on the Public Services Ombudsman matters

Minutes:

None reported.

16.

Training

Minutes:

           Town and Community Clerk training had been held on the 27 April 2022 with 30 Clerks in attendance. WLGA notes had been provided to the Clerks in order for them to facilitate training to their respective Town/Community Council

           Members of the Ethics and Standards Committee had been trained on the Role and Responsibilities of the Committee on the 24 May 2022

           Training on the Hearing Procedure would be held on the 30 September 2022

           Training for Group Leaders would be held on the 06 June 2022

           Training for Aberystwyth Town Council and Borth Community Council had been requested, Members of the Committee were encouraged to assist with this training once arranged

           To note that One Voice Wales had Code of Conduct training available to all Town and Community Councillors

           That new training modules were available for Independent Members on the new E-Learning Platform, however, confirmation was required if this training was available to Town and Community Council Clerks and Councillors, once the content of the training material is known.

           The need to possibly minimise the amount of training on the Code of Conduct over a period of time in order for Town and Community Councillors to absorb the complex information presented

           The need to address the Code of Conduct training nationally and online, however, it was seen that this could be issue for long standing Councillors, who wished to receive training face to face. Clerks would be contacted to ascertain if they preferred online or face to face training. It was also noted that many Clerks did not feel comfortable in providing this training to their respective Councils.

           That the Monitoring Officer would request a copy of Town and Community Councils Training Programme in order to ascertain if the Code of Conduct training had been provided. It was noted that the Standing Orders and the Local Resolution Process had previously been requested. It was noted that as all County Councillors attend Town and Community Councils to promote the training available.

 

17.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Minutes:

It was AGREED to note the Forward Work Programme as presented. The Chair reported that a meeting should be held prior to the 02 November 2022. The Monitoring Officer highlighted the resource implications of arranging urgent meetings and the need for Members to arrange their work accordingly to ascertain if they require a dispensation. It was reported that this meeting was due to be held in July but was brought forward. A meeting in September or October would be requested instead of the November meeting.

It was agreed that the MO Trends, Self-Evaluation and the Training plans for Town and Community Councils be added to the next meeting.

 

It was also agreed that the Action Log of today’s meeting would be presented at the next meeting; as was recommended by the Governance and Audit Committee.

18.

To consider any other applications for dispensation received since the
agenda was published

Minutes:

None.

19.

Any other matter which the Chairman decides is for the urgent attention of the Committee

Minutes:

None.