Agenda item

SAC Membership and Future Recruitment


The Head of Achievement and Extended Services presented a report on SAC Membership and Future Recruitment as amended to reflect the comments at the last meeting.  The Chair invited comments and questions.


·        Regarding the four-year term of office. It was explained that current SAC members can serve four years from the start of SAC but may resign at any point. Future members will start a four-year term on appointment.  When the term ends, consideration will be given to reappointment by the organisation represented.


·        It was suggested that Local Authority representation on the appointments panel is cross party and that the current elected members on SAC (plus the vacant seats) could form the panel as the Chair and two members was insufficient. A Member questioned the need for full Council ratification of appointments noting that faith and belief representatives have been appointed by their respective organisation.  The Member considered that the LA Governor appointments panel would be a better model.  The Legal representative explained that it is a matter for SAC to decide upon the  appointments panel model, pointing out that SAC is a part of the authority’s committee structure whereas the local authority governors’ appointment panel is not.


·        It was suggested that five years would be a more appropriate term of office for SAC members to align with the electoral term of councillors.


·        The Legal Representative clarified that SAC determines the length of the term of office and confirmed that appointments must be ratified by Full Council as per the Constitution as there is no delegated authority.  The SAC appointments panel would provide a mechanism to recommend appointments to Council.  The composition of the appointments panel is for SAC to determine.  Principles of good governance suggest cross-party representation on the appointments panel.


·        The Member asked that the membership of SAC is clarified as follows:


County Council representatives (6)


Faith and Belief Representatives

Church in Wales (1)

Roman Catholic Church (1)

Free Church Council (4)

Bahá’í (1)

Muslim (1)

Hindu (1)

Sikh (1)

Jewish Faith (1)

Buddhism (1)

Non-Religious Philosophical Conviction (1)


Teacher representatives (7)


·        A Member commented that the census for the County indicated that 50% of its population is Christian and SAC should reflect that proportionality. The Member expressed concern that church schools should be represented without restriction and not based entirely on teachers’ professional associations. 


·        The Member suggested that prospective SAC members have a Monmouthshire connection to ensure representation of the local community. 


·        The Legal representative confirmed that the report does not modify the membership of the faith and belief group which remains at 13 members as in the Constitution.  Regarding teacher representation, it was confirmed that legislation does not specify representation to be sub-divided into various faith schools It would be for the appointments panel to take local connection to Monmouthshire into account when considering applications. 


·        It was commented that having representation from church schools is an aspect that should be considered.  It was clarified that nominations come forward from professional associations and they therefore should consider the balance of community and church school representation in a fair and equitable way.


·        A Member referred to the two vacancies for Local Authority representatives and queried what would happen if no nominations are received from the Independent Group.  The Member also asked what timescales are expected for the recruitment and appointment process. The Chair reported that he had written to the Leader of the Independent Group who has said that she would get back to him.


·        In terms of the current vacant seats on SAC for local authority representatives, it was confirmed that whilst political balance is not strictly required it would be good practice to have a composition that is broadly representative of Council.  The Leader of the Council (in consultation with Chair of SAC) is responsible for filling the two vacant seats.  It was added that the vacant positions don’t affect recruitment to the other groups as the panel would be based on who is available and will be as broadly representative of the local authority as possible.


·        It was explained that nominations to the teacher representative vacancies have been delayed due to the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) meeting being cancelled. The matter will be added to the agenda for the next JAG meeting. Other representation will proceed once the recruitment process is confirmed.


·        A Member suggested that there could be five local authority representatives on the appointments panel, four being the current LA representatives. Regarding political balance, the example of planning committee was given where other parties have taken up vacant seat where the Independent Group have provided no nominations. It was noted that CC Buckler is interested in becoming a member of SAC.  The legal representative identified a risk if one of the five on the appointments panel failed to attend, there would be no quorum. The Member suggested a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5.


At this point, the Chair suggested that the report should not be amended but put to the vote.


On being put to the vote in the three groups, the report was approved.   A point was raised about protocol when there is a tie within a group.  Further information will be sought.

Supporting documents: