To receive any requests for dispensations.
Members of the press/public will be able to remain at the meeting 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 y cyfarfod 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.
That the dispensation be granted to Councillor Ian Papworth
The Chair reported that one application for a request for dispensation had been received from Councillor Ian Papworth which was being heard under 18C of Part 4 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. Members of the press and public would be allowed to remain at the meeting whilst the application was presented but would be removed to the lobby whilst the committee deliberated and then return to hear the decision.
The Monitoring Officer explained that this related to the Trelawnyd Memorial Hall. This was undergoing governance changes with the Community Council, as the landlord, wishing to grant a new lease to the Trelawnyd Community Association (TCA) of which Councillor Papworth’s wife was a committee member. This was a charitable organisation taking the lease of a public asset to run it as a public service. As Councillor Papworth’s wife was involved paragraph 10(2)(c) of the Code which stated that any matter affecting the well being or financial position of a family member created a personal interest for him. This was in connection with a lease to an organisation which his wife was in control or management and would give Councillor Papworth as her husband a personal and prejudicial interest.
Councillor Ian Papworth explained that this was causing problems within the Community Council as it had 9 members but currently held two vacancies. He explained that four members of the Council were Community Association members which meant that whenever a vote was required on the Community Association or village hall and declarations of interest were made it left the Council inquorate. The Community Association had signed a 27-year lease to run the village hall and issues had arisen around building insurance and management. As the spouse of the secretary of the charity he had a prejudicial interest but derived no benefit from the charity and had no decision-making role within the charity. This was problematic because if members the Trelawnyd Community Association (TCA) were excluded from the meeting, the Council was unable to conduct its business as 4 members were required to vote and he outlined the political balance of the four members who remained.
The Monitoring Officer spoke to raise three questions of detail from Councillor Papworth’s comments:-
· To understand when the two vacancies may be filled which could assist the quorate issue
· Were the councillors on the TCA nominated by the Community Council
· Was the TCA looking for financial assistance from the Council and if so, was this valued at £500 or less
In response Councillor Papworth explained that two people had put their names forward but it would be two to three months before there were in post. Referring to the second point Councillor Papworth reported that three members included himself were not representing the Council on the TCA. One member, the Chair, was a member of the TCA but also represented the Council. The Monitoring Officer stated that the person nominated by the Council automatically had a personal interest under the Code because of an exemption in paragraph 12. This would enable that member to treat any item as personal only provided it did not relate to planning or licensing matters. This would enable four councillors at the community council who would be able to vote.
Referring to the last point Councillor Papworth explained that every year the two village halls in the ward received a grant from the Community Council for its insurance with Gwaenysgor Village Hall receiving £1,000 and Tralawynd Village Hall normally receiving £1,000 but this had not been received this year.
Councillor Andrew Parkhurst asked if the other councillors who were in a similar situation had requested a dispensation. Councillor Papworth confirmed that he had provided them with the forms but was unaware if they had submitted them.
The Monitoring Officer confirmed that he had not received any other forms.
Gill Murgatroyd asked when the two new councillors were appointed would they be eligible to vote on this. Councillor Papworth confirmed they would as they were not members of the TCA.
The Chair referred to the grant money of £1,000 given to the two Halls and asked why the money had not been provided to Trelawynd this year. Councillor Papworth confirmed that the Community Council had been running the hall up until December and had continued the insurance for the duration of the term which was why they did not make the grant this year.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) ACT 1985 - TO CONSIDER THE EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
At this point, the Chair proposed that the meeting move into closed session as provided for under the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985.
This was moved by Mark Morgan and seconded by David Davies.
That the press and public be excluded from the meeting as the item was considered to be exempt by virtue of paragraph 18C of Part 4 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
Following the debate Councillors Ian Papworth and Bernie Attridge were re-admitted to the meeting and live streaming commenced.
The Monitoring Officer informed Councillor Papworth that the Standards Committee had agreed that in recognition of the need for the community council to be able to transact its business on this important community asset a dispensation was required. A dispensation was granted to enable Councillor Papworth to undertake the following:-
· To write to or speak with officers (with an independent person present with minutes taken of that discussion);
· To write to, speak and/or answer questions at Council/Committee meetings;
· To remain in the room during any debate;
· To vote
The Monitoring Officer confirmed that the duration of the dispensation was for up to 12 months which was the maximum that it could last. This would come to an end one month after at least one of the other councillors without an interest in the TCA was appointed. This would enable the community council to then become quorate and would alleviate the affects of the personal and prejudicial interest upon Councillor Papworth. This was under paragraphs (d), (i) and (j) of the Standards Committee (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001. Written confirmation of this would be forward to Councillor Papworth and the Clerk to the Council.
That the dispensation be granted to Councillor Ian Papworth