Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Monday, 20th June, 2016 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr USK. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 92 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 14th March 2016 were agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.


Adjudication Panel for Wales Report pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Additional documents:


We received a report in order to advise members of the Standards Committee of a recent decision of the Adjudication Panel for Wales in respect of Councillor Paul Cawley of Magor with Undy Community Council.


Members were recommended to note the contents of the report and the attached decision report of the Adjudication Panel for Wales found at appendix 1 to the report.


During discussion we noted the following points:


It was useful to see how the Adjudication Panel operates, and important for the panel to hear such cases to ensure public confidence.  The decision report was considered a good case study, and useful exercise for future training requirements


We noted that the Adjudication Panel could suspend for a period of up to six months, and also issue disqualification.


We were assured that Councillor Cawley had received training, even though there had been a clear breach of the Code of Conduct, and a lack of understanding of the fundamental nature of the Code.


The Adjudication Panel had emphasised that Councillor Cawley had declared an interest in the private part of the meeting, rather than a declaration in the public meeting, again demonstrating a misunderstanding of the Code.  We noted that it is Members own responsibility to follow the code of Conduct.


It was recommended that attention of County Councillors and Community Councillors be drawn to the decision made by the Adjudication Panel, being that after hearing representations from Cllr Cawley and the Ombudsman, the Case Tribunal decided to suspend Cllr Cawley from acting as a member of the Magor with Undy Community Council for a period of 3 months.  Cllr Cawley did not appeal the decision.


Code of Conduct Guidance pdf icon PDF 520 KB

Additional documents:


The Monitoring Officer presented two reports in order to advise members of the Standards Committee of the latest draft guidance produced by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (“the Ombudsman”) to help elected members in their understanding of the Code of Conduct for Members.


Members were recommended to note the contents of the draft guidance.


The guidance has been produced to take account of the recent amendments to the Code of Conduct that were reported to the last meeting of Standards Committee and adopted by the council on 12th May 2016.  Members received two versions of the guidance, one for county councils and the other for town and community councils.


The guidance documents were considered useful and very readable, using helpful examples to explain definitions of the Code.


We were advised that both copies could be accessed via the intranet.  A copy would be emailed to 43 elected members, and Town and Community clerks would also be made aware of the guidance.


It was agreed that the issue of the guidance is timely with the run up to the next election, ensuring members are fully aware of the Code of Conduct.


To note the time and date of the next meeting as Monday 19th September 2016 at 9.30


We agreed the date and time of the next meeting as Monday 19th September 2016 at 9.30am.