Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report by the Deputy Monitoring Officer (copy attached) on the attendance and observation of members at meetings and to confirm the Council’s position in relation to members being remunerated for attendance at meetings


The Chair guided members to the agenda papers (previously circulated). The report intention had been to discuss the attendance of members at City, Town and Community meetings.  The Deputy Monitoring Officer reminded members a previous report had been submitted for discussion at the last meeting and members had requested further information on the subject.


The committee had previously been requested to consider a structured approach to attendance and observation of Town , City and Community Council meetings.


One of the issues raised had been payment in respect such attendance at these Council meetings.  The Head of Democratic Services, had been in consultation with his national forum on the approach taken across Wales, it  being noted that various approaches had been adopted nationally. Also of note was that Denbighshire’s neighbouring authorities were making payments to members for such attendances.


The Deputy Monitoring Officer confirmed she had met with the relevant finance officer and Members heard there was no separate budget line for Standards Committee members’ attendance at Town, City and Community Council meetings specifically.


However, due to  the requirement to hold certain hybrid meetings, this has reduced the amount of travel payments issued and positive in respect of the carbon footprint. Therefore it was confirmed that the authority could fund attendance at meetings to a maximum of £2000 per annum in total;  this would include travel costs. It was proposed that it only be made available for the Independent members and the Community Council members, stressing that it would have to be closely monitored and reviewed by the Monitoring Officer.


The Chair welcomed having a clear direction and communication and members be reminded of the restrictions in place with regards to attendance at meetings.  She offered her thanks to the Deputy Monitoring Officer for providing further information following the previous meeting.  In the Chairs’ opinion the small budget available would help support members to attend meetings.  The Deputy Monitoring Officer stressed the budget was solely for attendance at meetings. It was not to fund any preparation time.  The Chair suggested that members capped the rate of reimbursement at half a day rate for attendance at any Town, City or Community Council meeting. The Deputy Monitoring Officer supported this suggestion and stressed that could be reviewed and amended in the future.


The Chair suggested that 10 meetings be attended per annum by the Independent and Community Council members. That would allow a small amount of budget to be left in reserve.


Members were all in agreement that Independent and the Community Councillor attend a total 10 meetings a year which would equate to about 2 meetings each.


The Chair suggested the approach to attendance of meetings be conducted in a more structured way and looking at those Councils that may not have been visited or have new clerks or substantial changes.

Members were reminded that to use the template and script information forms prior to attending meetings.


The Chair suggested a list be decided outside of the meetings of which City, Town or Community Council’s to attend. All agreed for the Chair and the Deputy Monitoring Officer to construct a list and circulate with members along with the template. Members were also reminded if they requested any support members could inform the Chair and arrangements could be made. It was suggested to list any meetings that may be conducted through the medium of Welsh.


The Chair informed members that on previous occasions she has let the clerk of the council know she is planning to attend the meeting 2-3 days before the meeting. Thus allowing enough time to be issued any relevant information of joining details if the meeting is being held remotely.


Members suggested that generic feedback email or letter be issued to a council following a meeting providing both positive or negative following the feedback being presented to the Standards Committee. 


It was also suggested a generic message be issued to Clerks to remind them that they may be visited by Standards Committee members.


The Chair thanked all members for the detailed discussion and suggestions regarding attending at meetings. Thanks were given to the Deputy Monitoring Officer for the work on addressing members concerns on the remuneration for members.   


It was

RESOLVED, that Standards Committee members note the position in relation to remuneration and members agreed for the Chair and Deputy Monitoring Officer to construct a coordinated and structured list of City, Town and Community Councils for members to attend.








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