Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report by the Deputy Monitoring Officer (copy attached) on the new duty placed upon political group leaders to promote ethical behaviour.



The Deputy Monitoring Officer guided members through the report (previously circulated) which provided details of the new duties placed on group leaders to promote good ethnical behaviour.


The statutory guidance issued by the Welsh Government in respect of the guidance for Group leaders had yet to been formally finalised. The draft guidance was available for all to see on the Welsh Government website.


Members were guided through the draft guidance which included examples of how Group Leaders might perform their duty, detailed in the report, with the Standards Committee having the responsibility to request Group Leaders attendance at a Standards’ Committee meeting to discuss any issues or concerns.


It also recommends that the Standards Committee arrange to train the Group Leaders on the duty annually. Therefore, it was proposed a meeting with Group Leaders to review behaviour in the form of an ‘Ethical Liaison Group’ would be established. It was suggested the group would meet regularly and could include members from the Standards committee.


Members heard the draft guidance also referred to the need for group leaders to make reports to the Standards Committee on their progress in fulfilling their duty. The Standards Committee would be able to discuss these reports with group leaders and use them as a basis for the Committee’s annual report to Council on the way in which group leaders are discharging that duty.


Included in the pack was a template that could be adopted for Group Leaders to complete for Standards Committee members to review.


It was proposed the Chair and Vice Chair attend with the Monitoring Officer at the next Group Leaders meeting to discuss the changes and emphasise the importance of the role of each Group Leader.


The Chair thanked the Deputy Monitoring Officer for the detailed report. She reminded members the regulatory requirement of the Standards Committee to report on the role of the Group Leaders.  In her opinion the attached template set out a clear and transparent report for Group Leaders to complete. It provided a clear and transparent way for Group Leaders to detail information. She suggested the template be shared with the Group Leaders for comments or suggested amendments to use going forward.


Members suggested that a training session on ‘Local Resolution Protocol’ could be added as an area for the Standards Committee to revisit. The Deputy Monitoring Officer noted the suggestion and agreed to add to the suggested areas of training.


Members felt it important to ensure Group Leaders were aware of what was required from them and suggested it was emphasised at either a Standards Committee meeting or at an Ethical Liaison meeting.


The Chair informed the committee that at Flintshire County Council, the Ethnical Liaison Group had commenced. Those meetings had been attended by the Chair and Vice Chair of the Standards Committee along with the Group Leaders and Monitoring Officer. It allowed members at those meetings to discuss any arising issues or discuss examples of any areas of concern. It allowed a platform for Group Leaders to share experiences in a safe environment.


Members suggested an informal meeting could be arranged to discuss the proposed Ethnical Liaison Group with Group Leaders and a ‘workshop’ informal meeting would be the place to commence.


Members agreed that all Standards Committee members be invited to a briefing to discuss and agree a methodology to ensure that together we promote compliance of the Code of Conduct whilst complying with statutory duties.


It was suggested that on the attached template form, a box for the period of time be included along with a section at the top stating the source to be made more clear. It was also suggested that a section be included on open and resolved complaints to ensure members are made aware of any ongoing complaints.





·         That members discuss and agree an approach which supports Group Leaders to discharge their duties, providing information and reasoning behind the draft regulations. Members agreed for the proposed template to be presented for consideration.

·         That all Standards Committee members be invited to attend with the Monitoring Officer a Group Leaders’ meeting in order to move forward with an agreed method of monitoring the duty.

·         That the Committee gave consideration to training and support to be provided and by whom. The Committee support the establishment of an Ethnical Liaison Group for meetings going forward.

·         That the Group Leader’ reports be received by the Committee following the municipal year to form part of the Standards Committee Annual report to Full Council.

·         That the Group Leader’ reports be received by the Committee following the municipal year to form part of the Standards Committee Annual report to Full Council.








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