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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Caerwys Town Hall, South Street, Caerwys CH7 5AL

Contact: Nicola Gittins 01352 702345 

Note: Please note the venue 

Items
No. Item

27.

Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

Decision:

None.

Minutes:

None.

28.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting on 2nd September 2019.

Decision:

That the minutes be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd September 2019 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

29.

Dispensations

To receive any requests for dispensations.

 

Members of the press/public will be able to remain in the room whilst an application for dispensation is presented to the Committee and will be able to return to hear the Committee’s decision.  However, under Paragraph 18C Schedule 12A Local Government Act 1972 the Committee will exclude the press and public from the meeting whilst it deliberates on any application for a dispensation.

 

 

Derbyn unrhyw geisiadau am oddefebau.

 

Bydd aelodau'r wasg / y cyhoedd yn gallu aros yn yr ystafell tra bydd cais am ryddhad yn cael ei gyflwyno i'r Pwyllgor a bydd yn gallu dychwelyd i glywed penderfyniad y Pwyllgor. Fodd bynnag, o dan Baragraff 18C Atodlen 12A Deddf Llywodraeth Leol 1972 bydd y Pwyllgor yn gwahardd y wasg a'r cyhoedd o'r cyfarfod tra bydd yn ystyried unrhyw gais am ryddhad.

Decision:

No requests received.

Minutes:

No requests received.

30.

Items raised by Town and Community Councils

(a)       To discuss any ethical issues or the work of the Standards Committee raised by Town and Community Councils; and

 

(b)       To gauge interest in a training event for new Councillors on the Code of Conduct and to seek a volunteer to host.

Decision:

(a)       That training be offered to new Councillors on the Code of Conduct, and that the session also include training for Chairs; and

 

(b)       That the possibility of using Carmel Village Hall for the training be considered at the next meeting of Whitford Community Council.

Minutes:

(a)       To discuss any ethical issues or the work of the Standards Committee raised by Town and Community Councils:

 

            The Monitoring Officer advised that none had been raised in advance of the meeting.  The Chair invited any issues from the floor but there were none.

 

(b)       To gauge interest in a training event for new Councillors on the Code of Conduct and to seek a volunteer to host:

 

The Monitoring Officer explained that he had been contacted by two town/community councils on the possibility of training being offered to new Councillors on the Code of Conduct.  If there was an appetite for such training it could be provided and he sought a volunteer town/community council to host the training. 

 

It was requested that such a session could include training for Chairs which was supported.  On a training venue, the Monitoring Officer explained that somewhere in the North West of the County would be preferable as it could encompass required training for new members of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority. The training would most likely take place at the beginning of November.  Councillor William Glynn from Whitford Community Council said he would ask at the next meeting of Whitford Community Council if they would be happy to host the training in Carmel Village Hall.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That training be offered to new Councillors on the Code of Conduct, and that the session also include training for Chairs; and

 

(b)       That the possibility of using Carmel Village Hall for the training be considered at the next meeting of Whitford Community Council.

Variation of Order of Business

The Chair indicated that the next item to be considered would be The Role of a Councillor.

31.

The role of a Councillor pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the report be received; and

 

(b)       That a copy of the WLGA guide ‘A Guide for New Councillors In Wales’, which set out the role of a Councillor, be sent to County Councillors and Town and Community Council Clerks.

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services introduced the report which provided details of the role of a County Councillor and the potential expectations of them.

 

                        A Councillor was an integral part of the Council as collectively, all seventy Councillors in Flintshire were Flintshire County Council. 

 

                        The role description for a Flintshire County Councillor was published on the website and covered accountabilities, role, purpose and activity.

 

                        As a guide, the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) believed that the role of a ‘back bench’ Councillor was likely to be the equivalent of three working days a week.  A Cabinet Member was likely to work the equivalent of a 37 hour week. 

 

                        Town and Community Councillors had their own separate roles.  It was important that County Councillors and Town and Community Councillors worked together in representing their communities and likewise, County Councils and Town and Community Councils were encouraged to work closely together and may hold regular liaison meetings – this was the purpose of the Flintshire Forum.

 

                        The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) published a new Councillor guide ‘A Guide for New Councillors in Wales’ which set out the role of a Councillor, and was appended to the report.  In addition, a Local Government association guide to working within a political environment was also appended to the report.  The Committee welcomed the report, in particular the WLGA guide and requested that this be sent out to all County Councillors and to Town and Community Clerks.

 

                        Ken Molyneux commented that the information on social media was sparse within the document.  The Head of Democratic Services explained that the WLGA had a separate social media protocol; the Monitoring Officer explained that this had previously been reported to Standards Committee and could also be found on the WLGA website.  In addition, he said that other such information would be available, via the Town and Community Clerks, who had access to One Voice Wales or the Society of Local Council Clerks.

             

            RESOLVED:

 

            (a)       That the report be received; and

 

(b)       That a copy of the WLGA guide ‘A Guide for New Councillors In Wales’, which set out the role of a Councillor, be sent to County Councillors and Town and Community Council Clerks.

32.

Reports from Independent Member visits to Town/Community Councils

To receive a verbal report from independent member of the Committee, Rob Dewey, on his visit to Northop Hall Community Council on 10th September 2019.

 

 

Decision:

That the verbal report be received and feedback given to Town and Community Councils accordingly.

Minutes:

Rob Dewey presented his verbal report following his visit as an independent member to Northop Hall Community Council which had taken place on 10th September.

 

                        The meeting had been a positive experience and was well led by the Chair with helpful assistance from the Clerk.  He reported on the good external signage to the meeting venue, and the use of name plates in the meeting.  The Clerk was new and an appropriate training course had been identified for her.  She delivered a good and thorough report.  He praised the level of commitment and contributions by those in attendance.

 

                        He felt it would be beneficial if Town and Community Councils published draft minutes of their previous meetings, given the timing between meetings, which would be of assistance to any members of the public.  Councillor Heesom supported this and requested that the Monitoring Officer look into that being a possibility.

 

                        There was one remaining visit outstanding which was Shotton Town Council; Ken Molyneux was visiting there the following week.

 

            RESOLVED:

           

That the verbal report be received and feedback given to Town and Community Councils accordingly.

33.

Feedback from the Independent Members’ Visits to Town and Community Councils pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To provide an overarching feedback in respect of all the visits to Town and Community Councils.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the report be circulated to all Town and Community Councils in Flintshire and the common theme and suggestions outlined in the report be endorsed as recommendations of best practice to those Councils.

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer introduced the report and explained the independent members of the Standards Committee had attended all but one Town and Community Council meetings over the past 12 months.  The visits had been carried out in order to gain a greater understanding of how Town and Community Council meetings were run across the County, with a particular focus on issues pertaining to the Members’ Code of Conduct (the Code), and to provide any feedback arising from the visits that may be useful.

 

                        The overriding feedback was that Town and Community Council meetings in Flintshire were well organised and attended and that Town and Community Councillors, and their Clerks, should be commended for their hard work and commitment.

 

                        Copies of letters sent to Town and Community Councils following each visit had been sent out and were appended to the report.

 

                        There were some common themes that had arisen where members of the Standards Committee considered improvements should be made to Town and Community Council meetings, which were:

 

1.    Declarations of Interest should appear as a standing item on all agendas before substantive items were listed;

2.    Where Declarations of Interest were made by Councillors, they should both verbally express whether the interest was personal, or both personal and prejudicial, and should also briefly explain the nature of the interest including which item on the agenda it related to and the same should be submitted in writing before the end of the meeting;

3.    Agendas should be available prior to meetings on the Council’s website and minutes of meetings should also be published on the Council’s website;

4.    In order to promote accessibility, the location, date and time of meetings should be available on the Council’s website and adequate signposting at and around the venue itself should be in place;

5.    Name plates should be displayed for Councillors at meetings so members of the public know who the Members of the Council are;

6.    Inductions should be arranged for all new Councillors, including an explanation of the expectations upon them under the Code;

7.    That the matters required under the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 are published on Town and Community Council websites as follows:

a)    Information on how to contact it, and if different, the Clerk including:

                                              i.        A telephone number;

                                            ii.        A postal address;

                                           iii.        An email address;

b)  Information about each of its Members, including:

                                              i.        The Member’s name;

                                            ii.        How the Member may be contacted;

                                           iii.        The Member’s party affiliation (if any);

                                           iv.        The ward which the Member represents (where relevant);

                                            v.        Any office of the Council held by the Member;

                                           vi.        Any Committee of the Council to which the Member belongs.

c)  The minutes of the proceedings of the Council’s meeting and (in

     so far as is reasonably practicable) any documents which are

     referred to in the minutes;

d)  Any audited statement of the Council’s accounts; and

e)  The register of Members’ interests.

  

                        In response to a question from Councillor Johnson, the Monitoring Officer explained  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 221 KB

For the Committee to consider topics to be included on the attached Forward Work Programme.

Decision:

That the Forward Work Programme be noted.

Minutes:

The current Forward Work Programme was received. 

 

In November the Annual Report of the Adjudication Panel for Wales would be submitted in addition to a report on Liaison with the Council on Ethical Issues.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Forward Work Programme be noted.

35.

Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

Minutes:

There were no members of the press or public in attendance.

 

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