Agenda item

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


It was noted that the Chairman had asked all Councillors in advance of this meeting if they had any matters to raise.  The following items had been presented to the Chairman:

a)    It was noted that the press had recently reported on dispensation applications presented to the Ethics and Standards Committee.  It was agreed that the Corporate Lead Officer would discuss this matter with the new Chairman of the Ethics and Standards Committee with a recommendation to stipulate on the dispensation form that information provided will be made public.

b)    Members queried as to the expected time-frame for returning to Penmorfa.  It was noted that it would not be possible to return during the installation of the new Council Chamber equipment.

c)    It was agreed that the Democratic Services Committee would ask the Leader of the Council to provide a substantial update on Covid-19 as an agenda item, focussing on short-term developments as opposed to providing a verbal update in order that Members are able to prepare questions in advance.  It was acknowledged that data relating to Covid-19 cases would need to be provided verbally on the day.

d)    Members noted that the ‘CLIC’ enquiry system in itself was working effectively, however Members do not know who is dealing with any particular enquiry, and often do not receive feedback when a matter has been dealt with.  It was also noted that the system provides separate ticket items when you follow up on a query, and that it can be difficult to keep track of queries.  It was noted that the Service is currently developing ‘your account’ which will facilitate this.  Officers were asked to clarify the time-frame for this development

e)    Members asked whether they would be eligible to receive eye-care vouchers which are currently available to employees.  It was noted that the regulations relating to Display Screen Equipment relate to health and safety legislations for employees and workers.  Whilst Members are not technically categorised as employees or workers, the advice from People and Organisation Services suggested that if Democratic Services believe that members fulfil the critiera within the DSE legislation, they may be eligible to claim under the Council’s eye-care scheme.  The Health and Safety regulations stipulate that: “The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations apply to workers who use DSE daily, for an hour or more at a time. We describe these workers as 'DSE users'. The regulations don't apply to workers who use DSE infrequently or only use it for a short time”.  It was noted that a process would need to be developed for Councillors and they themselves would have to declare that they use DSE daily, for an hour or more at a time.

f)      Members asked about the provision of a secondary piece of IT equipment for Chairs of Committees.  It was noted that last year, Cabinet Members and Chairmen of Committees who had previously requested an I-pad had been offered the loan of a lap-top in order to facilitate with the co-ordinating of committees whilst working from home.  Those Members that are no longer Chairs of Committees will be asked to return the loan equipment, and new Committee Chairmen will receive the same offer.  It was noted that information relating to the cost of providing additional equipment would be reflected in the Statement of Members’ Allowances paid during 2020/21 which would be published shortly.