Some minor typographical changes, changes in post designations and changes agreed previously by Council are not referred to with only the following changes recommended for adoption by the Council:

Part Two - Articles of the Constitution

Article 2 Members of the Council

Article 4 The Full Council

Article 5 Chairing the Council

Article 6 Scrutiny Committees

Article 7 The Executive Board

Article 8 Regulatory and Appeals Committees

SCHEDULE 1: Description of Executive Arrangements

Deleted as descriptions appear elsewhere within the Constitution

Part Three – Functions / Delegation

1.Responsibility for Functions

TABLE 2 Local Choice Functions

TABLE 3 Committees of the Council

TABLE 4 Executive Board Functions

2. General Scheme of Delegation to Officers

Part Four – Rules of Procedure

4.2 Access to Information Procedure Rules

4.5 Scrutiny Procedure Rules

Part Five – Codes and Protocols

Part 5.2 Code of Conduct for Councillors and Officers in Planning Matters

The existing document has been amended to reflect section 25 of the Localism Act as detailed within Appendix 4 to this report

Part 5.4 Officers’ Code of Conduct

15. Hospitality - Additions in respect of offers of Gifts or Hospitality

15.1 Offers of Gifts or Hospitality should immediately be reported to your Line Manager who will consider whether it is appropriate to be accepted. Any Hospitality or offer of Gift should only be accepted if properly authorised by a Line Manager and subsequently recorded on the appropriate register.

15.6 Gifts or hospitality accepted with a cash or in kind value estimated to exceed 25.00 should be recorded on the declaration form completed by your Line Manager / Head of Service / Director (as appropriate) and will then be forwarded to the Department’s Nominated Officer for countersigning and inclusion in the departmental register.

Part 5.5 Protocol on Member / Officer Relations

2. Member Officer Communication

2.1 Addition - Members should communicate with officers regarding policy and strategic matters at the appropriate level, which will normally involve the appropriate Director or Head of Service or other Senior Manager.

Members are encouraged to refer enquiries regarding electoral ward matters to the democratic services unit who will usually obtain a written response within a couple of days and within a maximum of 10 working days. This will ensure that issues are referred directly to the appropriate officer thus resulting in a saving of resources and time for the elected member in not having to personally chase up a response. (also included within para 5.1 of the section dealing with members’ access to information and to council documents)

Part 5.6 Protocol for Communication with Elected Members

The existing document has been amended as detailed within Appendix 5 to this report

Part 5.7 Councillor Call for Action and Local Crime and Disorder Referrals Guidance for Councillors

The existing document has been amended as detailed within Appendix 6 to this report to reflect changes brought in by the LG measure,The Localism Act and The Police & Justice Act 2006

Part 6

Part 6.2 Management Structures

Amended as per decision making structure adopted by Council at its adjourned annual meeting held on 01/06/12

Part 7

Schedule of Councillors’ Contact details

Part 8

Details of the Composition of the Council’s Committees and Panels as adopted by Council at its adjourned annual meeting held on 01/06/12

APPENDIX 1

Additions

Deletions

Article 6 – Scrutiny Committees

 

6.1 There will be seven five Scrutiny Committees with the membership as indicated

 

TITLE

MEMBERS

RESPONSIBILITIES

Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee

13 Members

Corporate policy/strategy;

Corporate performance monitoring;

Communication

Customer Services

Emergency Planning

Cross cutting scrutiny issues.

Human Resources.

Organisational Development;

Financial planning and resources finance;

Effective scrutiny of the Treasury Management Strategy and Policies.

Audit

Procurement

Physical assets;

Non-housing maintenance;

Information technology

Sustainable development.

APPENDIX 1

TITLE

MEMBERS

    RESPONSIBILITIES

Environmental & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee

12 Members

+ 2 Non Voting Co-opted Members From Dyfed Powys Police Authority

(The Committee may also co-opt non voting employees, officers or members of Responsible Authorities or Co-operating persons or bodies in respect of its crime and disorder functions, subject to the provisions of the Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Regulations 2009)

    Environmental services – Gritting Bridges

    Streetscene – Highways, Lighting, Street Cleaning, Refuse Collection

    Public Toilets

    Environmental Enforcement – Litter, Dog Fouling

    Parking services

    Planning Enforcement

    Trading Standards

    Community safety issues identified in the Corporate Community Safety and Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategies, working with the relevant partners in the community including the Police, Fire Brigade and the Local Health Board, crime and disorder functions (to include a power to make a report or recommendations to the County Council and/or the Council’s Executive Board).

    Environmental Health

    Pest Control

    Social Inclusion; the community

    Community Scrutiny Committee

13 Members

Public and private sector housing;

Housing services including council housing repairs and maintenance.

Regeneration

Planning Policy

Economic Development and Community Regeneration

Recreation and Leisure - Sport, Libraries,

Museums

West Wales European Centre

Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee

12 Members

Social Care - adult services

Adult Learning Disabilities

Mental Health;

National Health Service

“Wanless” issues.

APPENDIX 1

TITLE

MEMBERS

    RESPONSIBILITIES

Education and Children Scrutiny Committee

13 Members

+ 5 Voting Co-opted Members :

(3 elected parent governors

    1 representative Church in Wales

    1 representative Roman Catholic Church )

Schools

Catering

Inclusion / Special Education Needs

Community Education,

Childrens Services

Welsh language (in the community)

Building cleaning

6.2 Generic Terms of Reference for all Scrutiny Committees (except in the case of the Policy & Resources Scrutiny Committee and the Environmental & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee when exercising powers in relation to crime and disorder as referred to below in Paras. 6.3 and 6.4 respectively)

where a joint meeting of two or more scrutiny committees takes place:

In respect of matters which are relevant to their thematic and other responsibilities:-

i.

To develop and publish an annual forward work programme, identifying issues and reports to be considered during the course of a municipal year, taking into account the Council’s Forward Work Programme

ii.

To review and/or scrutinise decisions made or actions taken in connection with the discharge by the Executive Board and or the Council of any of their functions and to make reports to the Council and/or the Executive Board in connection with the discharge of any functions.

iii

To exercise the right to call-in for reconsideration the decisions as set out in paragraph 6.7 of this Article. made but not yet implemented by the Executive Board / Executive Board Member in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 6.7 below

iv

To monitor performance of the Executive Board/Authority in delivering key targets and objectives through the receipt of regular performance monitoring reports.

v

To scrutinise the development and implementation of service business plans including the monitoring of progress against specified actions and targets.

vi

To monitor progress in the undertaking of BV/WPI reviews including the recommendation of future service options/performance targets to Executive Board/Council and the monitoring of subsequent action plans.

vii

To undertake WPI or other reviews as requested by the Executive Board in response to issues highlighted by the annual risk assessment.

APPENDIX 1

viii

To participate in consideration of the authority’s budget-setting process.

ix

To participate in contribute to the Authority’s policy development and review process including the proposing of amendments to the Executive Board and/or Council as appropriate. and to provide advice to the Executive Board on major issues before final decisions are made.

To receive requests from the Executive Board / Executive Board Members to contribute to the executive’s decision making process by undertaking reviews of current policies/service provision and formulating views on proposed new policies or legislation.

x

To undertake independent research through Task and Finish Groups with the aim of supporting improvements in service delivery and contributing to the Council’s policy development and reviews.

xi

To undertake further independent research with the aim of supporting improvements in service delivery (to also receive undertake requests received from the Executive Board in this area)

xii

To refer issues to Executive Board / other Scrutiny Committees for further consideration (supported by evidence based reports and proposals)

xiii

To consider any matter affecting the area or its inhabitants with respect to their specific remit. ; and To question members of the Executive Board and/or committees and chief officers and partners about their views on issues and proposals affecting the area.

xiv

To question members of the Executive Board and/or Committees and Chief Officers and partners about their views on issues and proposals affecting the area.

xv

To submit prepare an Annual Report to Council giving an account of the Committee’s activities over the previous year.

6.3 SPECIFIC ADDITIONAL TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE POLICY AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

Where matters fall within the remit of more than one scrutiny committee, to determine which of them will assume responsibility for any particular issue. to determine the issue following consideration of the Committees’ reports and presentations by the appropriate Chairs where the Chief Executive deems this appropriate.

and To resolve any issues of dispute between scrutiny committees

To receive requests from the Executive Board and/or the Council for reports.

APPENDIX 1

To put in place and maintain a system to ensure that referrals from scrutiny committees to the Executive Board, either by way of report or for reconsideration are managed efficiently. and do not exceed the limits set out in this Constitution.

At the request of the Executive Board, to make decisions about the priority of referrals made in the event of reports to the Executive Board exceeding limits in this constitution, or if the volume of such reports creates difficulty for the management of executive business or jeopardizes the efficient running of Council business.

To participate in contribute to the authority’s policy development and review process in respect of corporate and cross-cutting issues. including the proposing of amendments to the Executive Board and/or Council as appropriate and to provide advice to the Executive Board on a major issues before final decisions are made.

To monitor progress in respect To contribute to the development and monitoring of the Corporate and Community Strategies.

To scrutinise and approve the Authority’s Improvement Plan including specified performance targets.

To scrutinise and monitor the Council’s overall performance against a set of key targets and objectives through receipt of regular performance monitoring reports (including the progress against Performance Incentive Grants P.I.G.S.)

To consider and input into contribute to the Council’s response to the Wales Programme for Improvement including the undertaking of cross-cutting reviews and scrutinising progress and issues emerging from the Whole Authority Analysis and annual risk assessment.

To monitor delivery of the Council’s efficiency programme.

To exercise the right to call-in, for reconsideration, decisions made but not yet implemented by the Executive Board or an individual member of the Executive Board or by an officer acting under delegated powers.

To refer issues to Executive Board / other themed scrutiny committees

6.4 Specific additional Terms of Reference where the Social Justice, Crime and Disorder Environmental & Public ProtectionScrutiny Committee is considering the exercise of powers relating to crime and disorder

To review and/or scrutinise decisions made or actions taken in connection with the discharge by the responsible authorities of their crime and disorder functions

To make reports and recommendations to the Council and/or the Executive Board with respect to the discharge of crime and disorder functions by the responsible authorities

To consider at a meeting of the committee any local crime and disorder matter referred to the committee by a member of the Council

To decide whether to make a report or recommendations to Council and/or the Executive Board in respect of a local crime and disorder matter, having regard to any representations made by that member as to why the committee should do so.

To notify the member concerned of its decision and the reasons for its decision in any case where the committee decides not to make a report or recommendations in respect of a local crime and disorder matter

APPENDIX 1

To provide a copy of any committee report or recommendations to the member concerned (in respect of a local crime and disorder matter) and to such responsible and co-operating persons or bodies, as it thinks appropriate

To review responses to committee reports and recommendations, and to monitor action taken by responsible and co-operating persons or bodies in relation to the discharge of crime and disorder functions by the responsible authorities

6.5 MEMBERSHIP

The membership of each Scrutiny Committee will be drawn from amongst those Councillors who are not members of the Executive Board. The number of members for each committee is identified in Paragraph 6.1 of this Article. The Scrutiny Committee responsible for Education matters will include voting co-opted members who are elected parent governor representatives and church representatives as required by the Local Government Act 2000. The Environmental & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee may also co-opt members in relation to crime and disorder matters. The Council may also appoint, on the recommendation of Scrutiny Committees, other non-voting members to serve on those committees.

6.6 PROCEEDINGS OF SCRUTINY COMMITTEES

Scrutiny committees will conduct their proceedings in accordance with the Scrutiny Procedure Rules as set out in Part 4 of this Constitution, including where necessary consulting other committees, stakeholders or community groups.

These arrangements require that:-

Any member of a Scrutiny Committee may between meetings ensure that any matter relevant to the remit of their Committee is placed on the agenda of that Committee for discussion and decision as to whether the Committee wishes to consider the matter further and discussed at a meeting;(NB This is a statutory requirement.)

On receipt of such a request the Chief Executive will ensure that it is included on the next appropriate agenda

Each Scrutiny Committee will be subject to the political balance rules as set out in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989;

Scrutiny Committees will meet in public except in circumstances where the committee decides that confidential or exempt information are to be discussed;

Scrutiny Committees have the right to require can request members of the executive board to appear before them and answer questions attend their meeting and assist them. (This power does not relate solely to scrutiny of decisions taken and can also be used to ask an Executive Board Member, for example, about forthcoming issues, provided due notice is given.)

APPENDIX 1

6.7 CALL-IN PROCEDURES

A majority of members of a Scrutiny Committee can “call in” an executive decision(s)

( a majority comprises more than half of the membership of a scrutiny committee e.g. 6 members of a 11 or 10 member committee )

A decision can be “called in” provided:

Except in cases of urgency, a decision taken by the Executive Board or by an individual Executive Board Member will not take effect until three days after the decision is published and circulated via E mail to members of the relevant Scrutiny Committee(s),

This gives a majority of the members of the relevant scrutiny committee the opportunity to exercise the right to call in the decision by requesting the Chief Executive to call a meeting of their committee to consider the decision.

This is achieved by sending to the Chief Executive or his designated officer (Democratic Services Manager) within the three day stipulated period a requisition / e-mail signed by the requisite number of members asking that the matter be “called in”.

To exercise the right of “call in”, certain conditions must have been met and the Monitoring Officer has to advise the Chief Executive as to whether these conditions have been satisfied.

There must be serious and genuine grounds for “call in”. These grounds may include concerns about:

If the Monitoring Officer decides that there are grounds for calling in a decision then arrangements will be made for a meeting of the relevant scrutiny committee to be convened within 10 working days of receipt of the request to call the matter(s) in.

APPENDIX 1

Following consideration of the matter(s) called in the scrutiny committee can decide:

Scrutiny committees will have power to review and scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, in connection with the discharge of functions by the Executive Board. The power to review or scrutinise a decision made but not implemented includes power to recommend that the decision be reconsidered by the person or body who made it (whether an individual member of the Executive Board, an Officer of the Council or the whole Executive Board; or to ask full Council to review the decision.)

Certain restrictions will apply to the use of call-in powers. Referral of a decision by a Scrutiny Committee should be considered where there are genuine and serious grounds for doing so which shall include the following on advice from the Monitoring Officer:-

A belief that the decision or action was contrary to the policy framework or Budget, or fell outside the functions of the Executive;

A belief that the Executive Board or an Individual Executive Board Member or an officer had not followed agreed procedures on consultation (as set out in protocols adopted by the Council) before reaching a decision;

A belief that the Executive Board an individual Executive Board Member or an Officer had not followed, or had failed to take account of, any legal obligations, including regulations or statutory guidance of the Council’s actions, or other guidance adopted by the council.

6.7 Operation of Call–In procedure

Except in case of urgency no decision will take effect until 3 days have expired since the notice of the decision was published. At any time before the decision is implemented a majority of members of the relevant Scrutiny Committee may call-in the decision by requiring the Chief Executive to call a meeting of their committee to consider the decision.

APPENDIX 1

This may be done by a majority of the membership of a Scrutiny Committee forwarding E mail requests to the Democratic Services Unit requesting that the matter be called in, the unit will then consult the Monitoring Officer who has to advise whether the conditions for call in are satisfied.

The Scrutiny Committee will normally meet within ten working days of the decision being called in. They may refer the decision back to the decision making body (including an individual Executive Board Member) or on to the Council, dependent upon the extent to which their concerns relate to the specified circumstances identified above.

If the Scrutiny Committee does not object to the decision it takes effect immediately. Otherwise it is referred to the original decision maker. Subject to the requirement as to notice, the original decision maker may then amend the decision or after re-consideration, implement it without amendment. The decision takes effect immediately and is not subject to further call-in. Similar procedures will apply to decisions taken by individual members of the Executive Board and officers exercising delegated powers.

The call-in procedure shall not operate:

in respect of urgent matters. (an “urgent matter” is one constituting an emergency threatening the lives or well being of some or all of the inhabitants of the county or any legal, commercial, or other matter in which delay may adversely affect the council’s interests or the rights or interests of others and the monitoring officer shall be the final arbiter on whether a matter is an “urgent matter”);

in respect of matters which have previously been the subject of call-in;

if it would result in an unlawful delay in the making of the budget;

6.8 Roles and functions of the Chairs, Vice Chairs and members of Scrutiny Committees

The Job Profile and Person Specifications for the Chair, Vice Chair and members of the Scrutiny Committees can be found in the Councillors and Co-opted Members’ Allowances Scheme (Part 6.1 of this Constitution )

APPENDIX 2

EXTRACT FROM TABLE 3-COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL

Committee

Functions

Delegation of Functions

Appeals Committee

7 Members

In relation to item 6 of Part I (Miscellaneous Functions) of table 1 above:-

To determine:

Appeals by members of staff in respect of disciplinary matters which have led to dismissal, save for any dismissal relating to the Chief Executive, any Director or Head of Service.

Education School Transport appeals and

Appeals relating to student awards.

 

Appointments Committee “A”for Directors

16 Members (Must comprise a majority of Non Executive Board Members)

In relation to item 6 of part I of table 1 above:-

(a)To make recommendations to the County Council in respect of the appointment of the Head of Paid Service.

(b)To appoint Directors.

 

Appointments Committee “B”for Heads Of Service

9 Members (Must comprise a majority of Non Executive Board Members)

In relation to item 6 of part I of table 1 above:-

To appoint Heads of Service.

All appointments below Head of Service level are to be dealt with in accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules.

APPENDIX 2

Committee

Functions

Delegation of Functions

Audit Committee

8 members

+1 Co-opted Voting Lay Member

(1) to review and scrutinise the Authority’s financial affairs,

(2) to make reports and recommendations in relation to the authority’s financial affairs,

(3) to review and assess the risk management, internal control and corporate governance arrangements of the authority,

(4) to make reports and recommendations to the authority on the adequacy and effectiveness of those arrangements,

(5) to oversee the authority’s internal audit & risk management arrangements including:

    (a)monitoring the adequacy & effectiveness of Internal Audit & Risk Management and the extent to which Management fulfil their responsibilities for ensuring an adequate control environment exists throughout the organisation;

    (b) approving the Authority’s Audit Charter;

    ( c) receiving an Annual Internal Audit Plan from the Head of Internal Audit and monitoring progress against the Plan;

    (d) receiving an Annual Internal Audit Report from the Head of Audit & Risk Management at the end of the audit year;

    (e) receiving and considering major internal audit findings and recommendations;

 

APPENDIX 2

Committee

Functions

Delegation of Functions

Audit Committee

Continued…

    (f) receiving the minutes of the Authority’s Risk Management Steering Group and receiving reports in relation to significant risks identifying significant control failings or weaknesses, their potential or real impact and the corrective action required or being taken;

    (g) monitoring Management’s response to major findings and the implementation of key recommendations

(6) to oversee the authority’s external audit arrangements, including

    (a) monitoring the adequacy and effectiveness of the External Audit service and to respond to its findings;

    (b) discuss with the external auditor the nature and scope of the audit of the County Council’s services & functions, and consider the external audit fee and terms of engagement;

    ( c) receiving and considering external audit reports and management letters and advising Full Council as appropriate;

    (d) monitoring Management’s response to the external auditor’s findings and the implementation of the external auditor’s recommendations

(7) to approve the financial statements prepared by the Authority

 

APPENDIX 2

Committee

Functions

Delegation of Functions

Audit Committee

Continued…

(8) to scrutinise the Authority’s Annual Statement of Accounts and any supplementary statements as required by the Accounts & Audit (Wales) regulations eg. Annual Governance Statement

(9) to approve the Dyfed Pension Fund’s Annual Statement of Accounts

(10) to consider and approve amendments to the Contract procedure Rules

(11) to consider and approve amendments to the Financial Procedure Rules

(12) to interview applicants for the position(s) of Lay Member(s) of the Committee and to recommend an appointment (s) to the Council.

 
 

The Audit Committee will be responsible for a key oversight role in relation to the Authority’s approach to Corporate Governance, in particular, those aspects relating to Internal Control and Risk Management.

The Committee shall exercise the following functions, and make recommendations where appropriate:

1. INTERNAL AUDIT & RISK MANAGEMENT

Monitor the adequacy and effectiveness of Internal Audit and Risk Management and the extent to which Management fulfil their responsibilities for ensuring an adequate control environment exists throughout the Organisation:

    Approve the Authority’s Audit Charter which establishes the role and responsibilities of Internal Audit within the Authority.

    Receive an Annual Internal Audit Plan from the Head of Audit & Risk Management.

Monitor progress against the Plan through the receipt of periodic progress reports and receive updates in relation to amendments to the Plan as may become necessary during the Audit Year.

 

APPENDIX 2

Committee

Functions

Delegation of Functions

Audit Committee (contd.)

    Receive an Annual Internal Audit Report from the Head of Audit & Risk Management at the end of the Audit Year.

    Receive and consider major Internal Audit findings and recommendations.

    To receive reports from the Minutes of the Authority’s Risk Management Steering Group and receive reports in relation to significant risks identifying significant control failings or weaknesses, their potential or real impact and the corrective action required or being taken.

    Monitor Management’s response to major findings and the implementation of key recommendations.

1.1. 2. External Audit

    Monitor the adequacy and effectiveness of the External Audit service and respond to its findings and to:

    Discuss with External Auditor the nature and scope of the audit of the County Council services and functions , and consider the external audit fee and terms of engagement

    Receive and consider External Audit Reports and Management Letters and advise Full Council as appropriate.

    Monitor Management’s response to the External Auditor’s findings and the implementation of the External Auditor’s recommendations.

    3. Annual Statement of Accounts

    Approve the County Council’s Annual Statement of Accounts and any supplementary statements as required by the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations e.g. Statement of Internal Control/Annual Governance Statement.

    To authorise the Chairperson to sign and date the Annual Statement of Accounts.

 

APPENDIX 2

Committee

Functions

Delegation of Functions

Audit Committee (contd.)

    4. Dyfed Pension Fund Annual Statement of Accounts

    Approve Dyfed Pension Fund’s Annual Statement of Accounts.

    5. Financial Procedure Rules

    To consider and approve amendments to the Financial Procedure Rules.(C.C. 14/05/03)

    6. Non Voting member

    To interview applicants for the position of non voting member of the committee and to recommend an appointment to the County Council

    7. Contract Procedure Rules

To review and approve amendments to the Contract Procedure Rules.

 

Democratic Services Committee

5 members

1. to exercise the function of the local authority under section 8(1)(a) of the LG (Wales) Measure 2011 (designation of Head of Democratic Services),

2. to review the adequacy of provision by the authority of staff, accommodation and other resources to discharge democratic services functions, and

3. to make reports and recommendations to the authority at least annually in relation to such provision.

 

APPENDIX 2

Committee

Functions

Delegation of Functions

Investment Panel

3 Members

+ 1 Permanent Substitute

Dyfed Pension Panel

To decide on all the policy matters and strategic direction relating to the investments of the Pension Fund.

To review and monitor the investment performance of the Fund.

To review and determine on all Pension Fund Valuation matters of the fund

To determine on Administering Pension Fund Authority policy and strategic matters.

Operational matters of both the Investments and Administration Functions are delegated to Director of Resources

With regard to the Dyfed Pension Fund to review the performance of the fund, decide on the strategic direction of all matters relating to the investment of the fund and monitor all aspects of the investment function.

To determine on Administering Pension Fund Authority matters.

Dyfed Welsh Church Fund

To decide on the strategic direction relating to the investments of the Church Fund.

To review and monitor the investment performance of the Fund.

 

APPENDIX 3

Additions

Deletions

PART 4.5 - SCRUTINY PROCEDURE RULES

1. What will be the number and arrangements for scrutiny committees?

The Council will have the scrutiny committees with the membership, powers and terms of reference as identified in Article 6.

2. Who may sit on scrutiny committees?

All Councillors except members of the Executive Board may be members of a scrutiny committee. However, no member may be involved in scrutinising a decision which he/she has been directly involved.

3. Non- Voting Co-optees

Each scrutiny committee shall be entitled to recommend to Council the appointment of a number of people as non-voting members, if considered appropriate. Co-opted members should be able to represent the interests of those who receive the services within a scrutiny remit or contribute expert knowledge and skills that will strengthen the scrutiny process. The number of co-opted members on a scrutiny committee should not exceed a third of the total membership of the committee.

Council will ensure that recruitment processes in relation to co-optees, whether on an individual or representational basis, are inclusive and fair to encourage people with a wide diversity of knowledge and experience to participate in scrutiny activity.

Appointment of co-optees may be for

    i) The life of a committee;

    ii) Until such time as Council decides to terminate the appointment; or

    iii) For the purpose of a particular review or performance monitoring exercise.

4. Voting Education representatives

Each relevant scrutiny committee dealing with education matters shall include in its membership the following voting representatives:

(a)

one Church in Wales representative;

APPENDIX 3

(b)

one Roman Catholic Church representative;

(c)

three elected parent governor representatives;

   

A relevant scrutiny committee in this paragraph is a scrutiny committee of a local education authority, where the committee’s functions relate wholly or in part to any education functions which are the responsibility of the authority’s executive. If the scrutiny committee deals with other matters, these representatives shall not vote on those other matters and may only attend as co-opted members of the committee for discussion of those other matters if invited to do so. although they may stay in the meeting and participate in the discussion.

5. Meetings of scrutiny committees

There shall be at least six ordinary meetings of each scrutiny committee in each year. In addition, extraordinary meetings may be called from time to time as and when appropriate and following the agreement of the Chief Executive in consultation with the Chair of the appropriate committee. A scrutiny committee meeting may be called by the Chair of the relevant scrutiny committee by a majority of the members of the committee or by the Chief Executive if he/she considers it necessary or appropriate.

6. Venues

Scrutiny Committees will usually meet in one of the Council’s administrative offices but from time to time will meet in appropriate community facilities.

7. Quorum

The quorum for a scrutiny committee shall be one third of the Members rounded up to the nearest whole number

8. Who chairs scrutiny committee meetings?

Chairs and Vice Chairs of scrutiny committees will be drawn from among the Councillors sitting on the committee and will be appointed by the council at its annual meeting in accordance with the procedure set out in the Council Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution.

APPENDIX 3

9. Work Programme

Subject to overall co-ordination of the exercise by the Corporate Policy & Resources Scrutiny Committee in order to avoid duplication of resources, scrutiny committees will be responsible for setting their own work programmes. Prior to the development of their work programmes, scrutiny committees will seek views from the public on topics that could be considered as part of their work. Copies of final work programmes will be sent to public sector and other relevant partners.

The programme itself will also be subject to ongoing review during the year as circumstances change. Updated work programmes will made available on the Council’s website throughout the municipal year

10. Agenda items

Any member of a scrutiny committee shall be entitled to give notice to the Chief Executive that he/she wishes an item relevant to the functions of the committee to be included on the agenda for, and be discussed at, a meeting of the committee. On receipt of such a request the Chief Executive will ensure that it is included on the next appropriate agenda.

Any member of a Scrutiny Committee may, between meetings, ensure that any matter relevant to the remit of their Committee is placed on the agenda and considered at a meeting of that Committee by submitting a request in writing to the Chief Executive.

On receipt of such a request the Chief Executive will ensure that it is included on the next appropriate agenda.

At a meeting of a Scrutiny Committee any member under the agenda item ”Forthcoming Items” may request that an item be placed on the agenda of the next meeting for consideration. The committee will then consider the member’s rationale for the request and decide:

    i) to approve or disallow the request

    ii) that they require additional information prior to considering the request

Any member of the public may request that an item relevant to the remit of a Scrutiny Committee may be placed on its agenda. A formal request will need to be submitted to the Council’s Democratic Services Unit by a minimum of seven working days before the date of the Committee meeting. This will outline the nature of the item and why it should be considered at a Scrutiny Committee. The person submitting the request will be entitled to present this case in person. This request will be considered by the Scrutiny Committee at its next available meeting. The Committee will then decide whether the request is approved and included on a future agenda of a Committee or whether to reject the request. Feedback on the committee’s decision regarding the request and the outcome of any scrutiny debate will be conveyed to the person submitting the request.

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10. Policy Review

(a)

The role of the overview and scrutiny committees in relation to the review of the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework is set out in detail in the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules

(b)

In relation to the development of the Council’s approach to other matters not forming part of its Budget and Policy Framework, scrutiny committee may make proposals to the Executive Board for developments in so far as they relate to matters within their terms of reference

11. Reports from scrutiny committees

Once it has formed recommendations on proposals for review, the a scrutiny committee will prepare a formal report and submit it to the Chief Executive for consideration by the Executive Board. if the proposals are consistent with the existing budget and policy framework, or to the Council as appropriate e.g. if the recommendation would require a departure from or a change to the agreed Budget and Policy Framework.

 

12. Making sure that scrutiny reports are considered by the Executive Board

Once a scrutiny committee has completed its deliberations on any matter it will forward a copy of its final report to the proper officer who will allocate it to either or both the Executive Board and the Council for consideration, according to whether the contents of

the report would have implications for the Council’s budget and policy framework. If the proper officer refers the matter to Council, he/she will also serve a copy on the Leader with notice that the matter is to be referred to Council. The Executive Board will have

four weeks in which to respond to the scrutiny report, and the Council shall not consider it within that period. When the Council does meet to consider any referral from a scrutiny committee on a matter which would impact on the Budget and Policy Framework, it shall also consider the response of the Executive Board to the scrutiny committee’s proposals. Only one report per year may be submitted by a scrutiny committee to the Executive Board.

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12. Presentation of Task and Finish Group Reports

Task and Finish Group interim and final reports will be presented by the Group’s Chair to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

The final report will set out its recommendations in order of achievability with associated cost implications i.e. :

      What could be implemented immediately or in the very near future at none or very little cost

      What could be implemented in the middle term

      Long term goals

The recommendations would also identify the Lead/Responsible Officers for implementing the immediate/short term recommendations and for drawing up and implementing a programme for the medium/long term recommendations.

Following adoption of the Group’s final report and any further amendments or additional recommendations agreed by the Scrutiny Committee, the final report will initially be presented by the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee to Executive Board Members for an informal discussion. The Chair will give an overview of the task undertaken by the group and its findings and the Executive Board Members may provide an indication of any additional views they may have in respect of the report’s findings. This will provide the Chair and supporting Officers with an opportunity to obtain additional information prior to the report being formally submitted to the Executive Board for consideration.

At the formal meeting of the Executive Board the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee will formally present the final report for the Board’s consideration and provide the Executive Board members with an overview of the task undertaken, a brief description of the process followed and the findings.

Executive Board Members will then have the opportunity to question the Chair on the report’s findings and consider the recommendations being put forward for consideration.

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13. Reporting Executive Board and Council Decisions

Following consideration of a Scrutiny Committee’s report and recommendations the Executive Board’s decision will be reported back to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee.

In not adopting any recommendations submitted by a Scrutiny Committee the Executive Board should record the reasons for not doing so.

14. Rights of scrutiny committee members to documents

In addition to their rights as Councillors, members of scrutiny committees have the additional right to documents, and to notice of meetings as set out in the Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution.

When dealing with crime and disorder matters, the Social Justice, Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee have a right to information from Responsible Authorities and Co-operating persons and bodies (as defined by Section 5 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998) on written request. Information provided will be normally be de-personalised and will exclude information likely to prejudice legal proceedings or current or future operations.

15. Members and officers giving account

(a)

Any scrutiny committee may scrutinise and review decisions made or actions taken in connection with the discharge of any Council and /or Executive Board functions. As well as reviewing documentation, in fulfilling the scrutiny role, it may require request, any member of the Executive Board, the Head of Paid Service and/or any Director and /or Head of Service to attend before it to provide further explanation of explain in relation to in respect of any matters within their remit:

 

i)

any particular decision or series of decisions; and/or

 

ii)

    the extent to which the actions taken implement Council policy;

and/or

 

iii)

    their performance

 

    and it is the duty of those persons to attend if so required

(b)

    Where any member or officer is required to attend a scrutiny committee under this provision, the Chair of that committee will inform the Chief Executive who will inform the member or officer in writing giving at least 15 working days notice of the meeting at which he/she is required to attend. The notice will state the nature of the item on which he/she is required to attend to give account and whether any papers are required to be produced for the committee. Where the account to be given to the committee will require the production of a report, then the member or officer concerned will be given an additional fifteen working days to allow for preparation of that documentation.

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(c)

Where, in exceptional circumstances, the member or officer is unable to attend on the required date, then the scrutiny committee shall, in consultation with the member or officer, arrange a convenient alternative date for attendance.

16. Officer Attendance at meetings of Scrutiny Committees

There is no requirement for Directors or Heads of Service to routinely attend meetings of Scrutiny Committees. However, Heads of Service and/or other relevant officers, who’s attendance has been requested by the Chair, or who have produced materials for consideration by the Committee will be expected to attend.

Once an Officer’s item of business has been considered by the committee they will, with the Chair’s agreement, then withdraw from the meeting

Normally Directors and Heads of Service should attend Scrutiny Committees to respond to questions, to explain departmental policies and procedures and generally to represent the services for which they are responsible and accountable for. Other departmental officers may also attend and may be called on from time to time to provide information and respond to questions put to them by members.

17. Executive Board Member Attendance at meetings of Scrutiny Committees

There is no requirement for Executive Board Members to routinely attend meetings of Scrutiny Committees. Executive Board Members can only attend meetings of Scrutiny Committees as observers and should only take part in discussions or debates by the Committee if invited to do so by the Chair.

Executive Board Members will be expected to attend meetings of Scrutiny Committees when Committees consider their half-yearly and annual performance management reports. During consideration of the reports the Chair may invite the Executive Board Member(s) present to respond to any questions by members on the reports or to provide additional information.

Once this item of business has been considered by the committee the Executive Board Member (s) may then withdraw from the meeting if they so wish

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16. Attendance by others

A scrutiny committee may invite representatives of other bodies to address it and to discuss issues of local concern and/or answer questions.

18. Scrutiny Participants

A scrutiny committee may invite members of the public or representatives of other bodies to address it and to discuss issues of local concern and/or answer questions.

A member of the public may also request to submit either written or verbal evidence to a Scrutiny Committee, Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee or a Scrutiny Committee Task and Finish Group in support of a scrutiny topic or review or Call-in request (see Article 6.6 Call-in procedures).

A formal request will need to be submitted to the Council’s Democratic Services Unit by a minimum of seven working days before the date of the Committee meeting. This request will outline the nature and purpose of the evidence to be provided at the meeting.

The Chair in conjunction with the Monitoring Officer can decide to refuse a request if this is considered to be potentially vexatious, discriminatory, inappropriate or unreasonable. The justification for the refusal will be communicated to the person making the request.

The Chair will allocate a timeslot on the agenda for verbal evidence from the member of the public. The Chair will have discretion to stop a speaker at any time in proceedings if, in their view, a speaker is making comments that are, or appear to be, defamatory, vexatious, discriminatory or offensive.

Where evidence has been submitted, the outcome of the scrutiny debate or review will be communicated to the individual in question.

Council recognises the need to support participants invited to attend Scrutiny Committees and Scrutiny Task & Finish Groups and the valuable contribution that they will make to the scrutiny process.

A Charter and Guidance for Participants has therefore been drawn up which sets out:

      what participants can expect when attending a Scrutiny Committee / Task & Finish Group meetings

      the steps that will be taken to keep participants informed about the procedure, and

      what will be expected of participants throughout the scrutiny process they are involved in .

 

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19. Call-in

The procedures for call in are set out in Article 6.6 of Part 2 of this Constitution.

20. Prohibition of whipped votes and declaration of party whips

When considering any matter in respect of which a member of a scrutiny committee is subject to a party whip the member must declare the existence of the whip and the nature of it before the commencement of the committee’s deliberations on the matter. The declaration, and the detail of the whipping arrangements, shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting

A member of a Scrutiny Committee shall not be allowed to vote in any matter if he or she is subject to a party whip in respect of that matter. If a decision made with a party whip declared is materially affected, it should be treated as if it has not been made.

21. Procedure at scrutiny committee meetings

(a)

Scrutiny committees shall consider the following business: but the Chief Executive will arrange the items on the agenda so as to give priority to matters requiring decisions.:

 

i)

Declarations of interest

 

ii)

Declarations of prohibited party whips

 

iii)

Consideration of any matter referred to the committee for a

decision in relation to call in of a decision or other matters referred to the committee by members of the public and through the Councillor Call for Action and Local Crime and Disorder referral process

 

iv)

Responses of the Executive Board to reports and requests of the scrutiny committee on a quarterly basis

 

v)

Forthcoming items

 

vi)

The business otherwise set out on the agenda for the meeting

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vii)

Minutes of the last meeting

(b)

Where a scrutiny committee conducts reviews or considers other matters, the committee may also ask outside representatives such as representatives of key invite individuals, representatives of key partner organisations or other outside bodies to attend and give evidence at committee meetings. The meetings of the committees will which are to be conducted in accordance with the following principles:

 

i)

that the review will be conducted fairly and all members of the committee will be given the opportunity to ask questions of attendees participants, and to contribute and speak

 

ii)

that those assisting the committee by giving evidence will be treated with respect and courtesy; and

 

iii)

that the review will be conducted so as to maximise the efficiency of the process.

(c)

Following any review, the a committee will prepare a report, for submission to the Executive Board and/or Council as appropriate and shall make its report and findings public.

22. Matters within the remit of more than one scrutiny committee

Where a matter for consideration by a scrutiny committee also falls within the remit of one or more other scrutiny committees, the decision as to which scrutiny committee will consider it will be resolved by the Corporate Policy & Resources Scrutiny Committee.

23. Referrals to Executive Board, Executive Board Members and other Scrutiny Committees

These should only be made:

if the committee is recommending that existing policy should be amended

if the committee is recommending that a new policy should be introduced

if the committee is drawing attention to new areas of risk

All recommendations should also be accompanied by details of the relevant implications e.g. policy, legal, finance, human resource etc.

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24. Councillor Call for Action and Local Crime and Disorder Referral

Any member may refer a local government or crime and disorder matter that has not been resolved through any other avenue to the relevant Scrutiny Committee through the Councillor Call for Action (CCfA) and Local Crime and Disorder Referral (LCDR) procedure. The procedure for CCfA and LCDR are set out in Part 5 of this Constitution.

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Part 5.2

Code of Conduct for Councillors and Officers in Planning Matters

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 This Code of Practice is intended to guide the procedures by which Councillors ('Members') and officers of the Council deal with planning matters and to set standards of probity and conduct which the people of Carmarthenshire can expect of them.

1.2 As Planning affects peoples' lives and private interests, it can be very contentious. It is, therefore, important that the people of Carmarthenshire understand the system and have confidence in its integrity and transparency, and that Members and officers, involved in the 'planning' process, avoid impropriety or even the suspicion of impropriety. This approach is endorsed by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (the Nolan Committee), the District Audit and the Welsh Local Government Local Government Association.

1.3 Members must follow the Code of Conduct for Members of Carmarthenshire County Council (Part 3 of which covers such matters as declarations of interests, gifts and hospitality) and the Protocol for Member, Officer Relations. When dealing with planning matters they must act in accordance with this Planning Code of Practice.

1.4 A breach of this code, while not usually amounting to a breach of criminal law, may adversely affect the standing of the Council and the reputation of an individual member. It could result in a decision being judicially reviewed or in a complaint of maladministration, or an allegation of a breach of the Code of Conduct being made to the Local Government Ombudsman.

1.5 If Members or officers are in doubt about the application of the 'Code of Conduct for Members of Carmarthenshire County Council’ or of this Planning Code of Practice they should seek advice from the Council's Monitoring Officer.

2. GENERAL ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND CONDUCT

2.1 Members and officers have different, but complementary roles in the planning process. Members of the Planning Committee have different roles to those of other Councillors.

2.2 Councillors who are Members of the Planning Committee determine the more significant and contentious planning applications received by the Council. In doing so these Members and the nominated substitutes perform a quasi-judicial role and are required to consider all planning proposals against the wider public interest.

Due to the quasi-judicial nature of the role of the Planning Committee and the requirement in Part 13 of this Code of Practice such Members and nominated substitutes should undertake training. The Council considers it not to be 'good Practice’ for Members, unable to attend meetings of the Planning Committee, to nominate another Member other than the nominated

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substitutes to act on his / her behalf, and therefore the Council Procedure rules do not permit this. Other applications are delegated to the Head of Planning Services to decide, as described in Paragraph 2.10

Members of the Planning Committee

2.3 Planning Committee Members shall:

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Members of the Planning Committee who are also members of Community / Town Councils

2.4 Membership of a Community/Town Council provides an opportunity to listen to local views and does not of itself give rise to a conflict of interest for a Planning Committee Member provided he/ she maintains an open mind until all the evidence and arguments have been presented at the Planning Committee.

2.5 Legally a Member may speak and vote when a planning application is under consideration at a meeting of the Community/Town Council. In these circumstances it is necessary for a Member to make it clear at the Coummunity/Town Council meeting that he/she would consider the matter afresh at the Planning Committee, taking into account all relevant information. When the matter is then considered by the County Council a Member should make it clear that they are not bound by the views of the Community/Town Council. This does not apply when the application is from the Community/Town Council itself. In that circumstance the Member should consult the Monitoring Officer for further advice.

Non-Committee Members of the Council Officers

2.6 Members who are not on the Planning Committee represent their Electoral Ward and the County Council as a whole. They may, attend the Planning Committee and Committee site inspections relating to sites within their electoral ward and speak on any planning matter arising within their electoral ward(subject to declarations of interest), but may not vote. Such Members do not act in the quasi-judicial role performed by Committee Members, but shall: -

2.7 Such Members may express support for a particular opinion in advance of the matter being considered by the Planning Committee (or by the Head of Planning Services under delegated powers)

2.8 The function of officers is to support and facilitate the Councillors in their work and to implement lawful decisions.

Applications delegated to the Head of Planning for determination

2.9 The Head of Planning Services makes decisions with regard to all planning applications under delegated powers unless:

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2.10 Duties of Officers

2.11 The Council's Legal Officers advise Members on legal and procedural matters. In doing so, they must: -

3. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSING ARRANGEMENTS

Planning application notification

Application documentation

Meetings with applicants and objectors

Determination process

3.1 All Members of Council will be informed of the submission of all planning and related applications through the “Weekly List of Planning Applications “ placed on the web site, unless the member has requested notification directly via e-mail or post.

3.2 The weekly applications list and notification shall indicate the appropriate case officer who can advise whether when the application decision is to be made by the Planning Committee or by officers under the scheme of delegation

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3.3 Local Members will only be sent a copy of any planning or related application or any documents relating thereto where they make a specific request. Local Members will not be informed of the submission of amended plans in respect of an application in their electoral division unless they make such a request.

3.4 Local Members will not be informed of, or invited by the Planning Department, to any meetings with applicants or objectors in respect of any application in their electoral division, although they may be invited by the applicant / objector. Should Members attend any such meetings they should be aware of the need to avoid any indication of prior determination.

3.5 Local Members will be informed of public meetings being held in respect of any application relating to land or property in their electoral division, which are either being organised by the Council or with which the Planning Department is involved.

3.6 Should a Member wish an application, designated to be determined under delegated powers, to be determined by the Planning Committee, he/she should make a request in writing to the Chairperson of the Planning Committee within 2 weeks of the issue of the 'Bulletin' or notification in which the receipt application is notified. The request should state the reasons why determination by the Planning Committee is necessary.

3.7 Members shall not put pressure on officers to make particular recommendations or decisions nor to change recommendations or decisions in respect of any application

4. PRE-APPLICATION / DECISION AND ENFORCEMENT DISCUSSIONS

4.1 Local Planning Authorities are encouraged to enter into discussions and negotiations, which can bring about improvements that can make an application acceptable or otherwise remedy problems, and thereby potentially speed up the process.

4.2 Such discussions will normally take place at officer level and Members shall, wherever possible, refer requests for such advice to the officers. If Members become involved in such discussions they should make it clear that their views are personal and provisional and they may wish to make a record of the discussion.

4.3 All officers taking part in such discussions shall:

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4.4 Occasionally local people or Community / Town Councils or the applicant or his agents will arrange public meetings to discuss a current application and may invite the applicants, Members and officers to attend. Given the need to avoid pre-determination, Members of the Planning Committee and officers who attend such meetings shall only use them for fact-finding; shall not express an opinion for or against the proposal and shall otherwise act in accordance with Paragraphs 2.2 to 2.6 and 4.2.

5. LOBBYING OF MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE

5.1 Lobbying is the process by which applicants; agents, neighbours, non-Committee Members and other interested parties may seek to persuade Councillors on the Planning Committee to come to a particular decision. It is legitimate for them to approach Members of the Planning Committee and such discussions may help Members to understand the issues and concerns. As stated in the “Nolan Committee Third Report”, it is essential for the proper operation of the Planning system that local concerns are adequately ventilated”

5.2 In responding to approaches of this kind, Planning Committee Members should exercise caution before expressing an opinion that may be taken to indicate that they not taken into account all relevant factors prior to hearing all the evidence and arguments, which will be presented at the Planning Committee. They should explain their position in respect of probity if they express an opinion on a proposal before consideration at the Committee. They should:-

5.3 Decisions of Members of the Planning Committee are subject to the provisions of Section 25 of the Localism Act 2011 which states that a decision maker is not to be taken to have had, or appear to have had, a closed mind when making a decision just because:-

In the context of the planning committee, Section 25 applies to any legal proceedings which challenge the validity of the committee’s decision on the basis that the members of the planning committee were either bias or had predetermined the planning application. Where such a case relies to any extent on proving the member(s) of the planning committee had a closed mind, the party bringing the case

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cannot rely on anything previously done or said which related to the member(s). This could include for instance statements made at public meetings, comments in the press or participation in Town or Community meetings by the members concerned. It is considered that Section 25 will make a challenge which relies on establishing bias or pre-determination by reference to a member’s prior comments or statements very difficult to prove.

5.4 However implementation of s.25 does not affect the wider legal requirements for Members of the Planning Committee to take into account all relevant and material planning considerations before reaching their decision. Members therefore need to be aware of these wider legal requirements other than bias and predetermination and any decision could still give rise to challenge on the grounds that relevant considerations were ignored. Members are also subject to paragraph 8 of the Members Code of Conduct which requires them to reach decisions on the merits of the circumstances involved and in the public interest, having regard to any advice provided by officers. The guidance from the Ombudsman identifies pre-determination and bias as relevant evidence relating to this provision and compliance. However S.25 of the Localism Act 2011 does not affect this requirement and members of the Planning Committee will still have to ensure that they take decisions in a way which complies with this paragraph of the Code. Members must also accept and follow advice from officers relating to issues affecting the procedural fairness of the committee and must not create an impression of bias or pre-determination as it is unlikely s.25 would protect the council where procedural fairness is an issue.

6. PLANNING APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS, COMMUNITY / TOWN COUNCILS AND OFFICERS

6.1 Planning Applications submitted by, or on behalf of, Members or officers employed by the Council, or by, or on behalf of a spouse, partner, parent, child or sibling or a Member or officer of the Council, where known, shall be decided by the Planning Committee and not, under delegated powers by the Head of Planning Services. This will also apply where the Member is acting as an agent for another party.

6.2 The affected Member(s) must disclose the existence and nature of the interest/relationship and withdraw from involvement in the decision.

6.3 The affected officer shall take no part in the processing of the application and any recommendation made to The Head of Planning under the scheme of delegation or to the Planning Committee.

6.4 Where a Community or Town Council submits a planning application, the County Council Members who are also Members of that Community or Town Council should disclose their interest and will then be permitted to attend the meeting for the purposes of making representations and answering questions relating to the application concerned. The Member must then leave the meeting until the application has been determined by the Committee whereupon the Member can rejoin the meeting to take part in the remaining agenda items.

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7. PLANNING APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BY THE COUNCIL

7.1 It is essential that the Council treat applications for its own development (or a development involving the Council and another party) in a similar manner to all other applications and that this is seen to be the case.

7.2 All such proposals will be subject to the same administration processes, including consultation, as private applications. Determination shall similarly take into account planning policy and any other material planning considerations.

7.3 In order to ensure transparency and openness in dealing with such applications, Council proposals (save for discharge of conditions) will not be dealt with under delegated powers, but will be determined by the Planning Committee.

8. OFFICER'S REPORTS TO THE PLANNING COMMITTEE

8.1 All Planning matters considered by the Planning Committee will be the subject of appropriate written reports by the Head of Planning (or, in the case of legal matters, the Head of Legal Services) incorporating his / her recommendations. Such reports shall be comprehensive, but succinct in setting out the key planning (or legal) issues to be considered (in terms of the provisions of the development plan and other material planning considerations), the substance of any representations received and any relevant planning history.

8.2 Members and officers shall not put pressure on planning officers to make particular recommendations or decisions nor to change recommendations or decisions in respect of any application

9. CONDUCT AND PROCEDURE OF PLANNING COMMITTEE

MEETINGS

Conduct Procedure

9.1 The Chairperson of the Planning Committee is responsible for the conduct of the meeting in accord with Council Procedure Rules and the protocol ( Appendix 1 and paragraph 9.3 below) and for the effective delivery of business in a professional, courteous and transparent manner. The Members of the Committee and officers shall respect that role and behave in a manner that is commensurate with the high standards of conduct and propriety that are expected in public office. At the outset of the meeting the Chairperson in conjunction with Democratic Services officers will ensure that all Members of the Committee are all seated in a designated area of the Chamber in order that they are sitting separately from members of the public and any other invitees also present.

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9.2 The Chairperson will seek to ensure that Members and officers are treated in accordance with the Council's agreed Protocol For Member/ Officer Relations, with regard to:

9.3 Members of the public are permitted to address the meeting subject to the procedure in the protocol “Representations to the County Council on Planning Applications” See Appendix 1 . Where disturbance of the meeting occurs by way of public interference, the chairperson may suspend proceedings until matters are resolved or in extreme situations may close the meeting to the public.

9.4 The deliberations of the Committee will be confined to the published agenda plus any urgent items that have been accepted by the Chairperson in accord with the Local Government Act 1972. The order of business will generally be in accord with the agenda but the Chairperson will seek to bring forward items of business that members of the public or applicants have come to hear.

9.5 The Chairperson will ensure that meetings of the Planning Committee are conducted in accordance with the Council's Committee Procedure Rules and safeguard that appropriate debate is able to take place in a structured and professional manner, with Members being given the opportunity to raise material planning issues (normally through a single presentation). The Chairperson will seek to avoid repetition or irrelevant debate.

9.6 Members shall endeavour to give not less than 24 hours notice (preferably in writing) to the Head of Planning Services of questions requiring a technical or detailed response so that an appropriate response can be prepared for the meeting of the Planning Committee.

9.7 Each planning decision shall be by way of a majority vote, taken in accord with Council procedures and this Code of Practice.

9.8 Planning officer(s) will update the Planning Committee on each application in respect of submissions and other material matters not addressed in the main report and, through the Chair, will be responsible for responding professionally to Member questions.

9.9 Appropriate legal or administration officers will be responsible for advising the Chairperson and the Committee on matters of procedure and protocol.

9.10 Where officers advise the Chairperson of material professional concerns or potential consequences of a particular course of action (or of any potential liabilities or errors of fact) officers shall be afforded reasonable opportunity to concisely explain those matters to the Planning Committee before it reaches a decision. [ Similarly the legal officer present at the meeting shall also be permitted to intervene for the purposes of giving legal advice relating to matters of procedure and planning law at any point before the Committee reaches a decision.

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10. PLANNING COMMITTEE SITE INSPECTIONS

Purpose of Committee site inspections

Requests for Committee site inspections

Criteria for agreeing to hold site inspections

Notification of site inspections

Attendance at site inspections

Conduct at site inspections

10.1 Committee site inspections are fact-finding exercises to allow Members to make a more informed decision than would be possible from reading the officer's report and considering the views expressed at the Planning Committee meeting.

10.2 The sole purpose of site inspections is to allow Members to look at the site and its surroundings. In conducting the site visit, the Members will not formally debate the application, express a prior opinion, lobby for any particular decision or come to any decision.

10.3 Requests by Members for site inspections in respect of Committee cases should

wherever possible be made to the Head of Planning as per Council’s resolution 11th December 2006 i.e. three working days before the Committee and in writing Such a request should indicate by reference to material planning conditions why a site visit is necessary and should cite the features Members should inspect while on site. The Head of Planning may present the request to the Committee who shall then decide whether to agree to the Member's request.

10.4 Site visits may also be arranged, upon the advice of the Head of Planning, where there are particular site issues which Members should be aware of prior to the meeting of the Planning Committee.

10.5 Members shall only make such visits where the Planning Committee cannot otherwise make an appropriately informed decision and the inspection would have substantial benefit. The Head of Planning will present G.I.S and photographic evidence in appropriate applications to avoid unnecessary sites visits. Examples where a site visit would

not normally be appropriate include where:

10.6 All local ward Members will be notified of site inspections. The applicant will also be notified, to facilitate access to the site.

10.7 A list of site visits and times will be publicised in accordance with the normal arrangements and the statutory requirements for Committee meetings.

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10.8 Members of the Planning Committee (together with any local Member.

Members in attendance at the site visit will be required to comply with any health and safety advice given in respect of the site. They will also ensure that they wear reflective jackets at all times and take any other safety measures as advised by the Head of Planning or other officer present.

10.9 Members may only enter onto the site with the permission of the site owner who has the right to remain in attendance, when required for organizational reasons

10.10 The site visit will be conducted in private. No representations from the public can be received by the Committee at or during visits to sites.

10.11 The Planning Officer will give a brief summary of the application and the site inspection issues at the beginning of each site visit.

10.12 Members of the Planning Committee attending the site inspection shall not make comments that would create an impression that they have already formed a view on the merits of the application.

10.11 The inspection will be chaired by the Chairperson or Vice Chair of the Planning Committee who will ensure that it is conducted as a single meeting and in an orderly fashion.

10.12 The Planning Officer will give a brief summary of the application and the site inspection issues at the beginning of each site visit.

10.13 Members of the Planning Committee attending the site inspection shall not make comments that would create an impression that they have already formed a view on the merits of the application.

10.14 Members of the Planning Committee shall not discuss the application, other than to clarify issues of fact, and shall not make a decision while on site.

10.15 The applicant when present in the circumstances for the reasons referred to in Paragraph 10.9 will not be permitted to address Members during the site inspection

10.16 Members may through the Chairperson, ask questions of officers and the Local Member, to clarify factual matters relevant to the site inspection. Any such questions put shall be put so that all parties can hear them.

10.17 If a request is received from a third party to inspect the site from a different location, the Members, as a group, should take the view whether to do so. Unless there are good reasons not to do so, such a request should normally be acceded to.

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11. PLANNING COMMITTEE DECISIONS CONTRARY TO OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

11.1 From time to time the Committee will disagree with professional advice given by the officers and may decide to determine an application contrary to that advice. When this occurs the Chair of the Planning Committee will ensure that the following principles are followed: -

11.2 Officers shall be given an opportunity to explain to the Planning Committee the planning and/or legal implications of their intended decision before the decision is confirmed.

11.3 Where the Planning Committee wishes to add or amend conditions/ reasons or attach a planning obligation, officers shall be given the opportunity to explain the planning and/or legal implications before the decision is confirmed.

11.4 The Committee shall ascertain officers' views in respect of paragraph

12. APPEALS AGAINST COUNCIL DECISIONS

12.1 Officers will organise and generally appear as witnesses at planning appeals and other proceedings on behalf of the Council. In some circumstances (such as where specialist evidence is required or where a Member decision is contrary to officer recommendation) it may be necessary to appoint consultants to appear for the Council.

12.2 In giving evidence Officers will present the best possible case on behalf of the Council while complying with the RTPI Code of Professional Conduct. The Royal Town Planning Institute Code of Professional Practice requires, inter alia, that Planning Officers who are members of the Institute do not make statements purporting to be their own, but which are contrary to their bona fide professional opinion.

12.3 In cases where the appeal is against a decision, which the Committee has made contrary to Officers' recommendation, the planning case-officer may be able to give evidence. However in some cases, another officer or consultants will be employed if the Head of Planning considers that the case-officer's previously stated views (or those of the Planning Services as a whole) might be unhelpful to presenting the Committee's position.

12.4 Members can have an important role to play in appeals and may, within set deadlines, make written representations to the Inspector and may also appear at informal hearings or as a witness at public local inquiries. In doing so they should state whether they are acting in their local Councillor capacity or, exceptionally, representing the Council's case.

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12.5 Where planning officers are unable to defend decisions on appeal (due to requirements of the professional conduct rules of the Royal Town Planning Institute) the Planning Committee should be aware of this before the final vote is taken. In such cases, the Committee shall nominate (at least) two of its members who voted contrary to the recommendation to appear at any appeal and explain the Committee's decisions and the reasons for them. These should normally be the proposer and seconder of the proposal, which was contrary to officers' recommendation.

12.6 Planning and Legal Officers will support Members attending or wishing to make representations at appeals and advise them on preparing and delivering evidence. Legal Officers will attend Inquiries and / or assist in preparing representations when Legal representation is required

13. MEMBER TRAINING

13.1 The Council considers that Members of the Planning Committee should undertake training and that this opportunity be offered to all Members. Council Procedure Rules provide that only members who have attended appropriate training shall be appointed or allowed to continue as members or attend as substitute members

13.2 Members will be offered and expected to attend core training (normally within three months of appointment to the Committee). The subject matter will cover planning procedures, the development plan and material planning considerations, probity and other subjects determined from time to time by officers in consultation with the Members.

13.3 Other training will be available in the form of additional sessions, short presentations to the Committee and the circulation of briefing notes.

13.4 Attendance at training events will be recorded and will be monitored through the relevant Scrutiny Committee, member of the Planning Committee must receive annual training.

14. REVIEW OF DECISIONS

14.1 The Audit Commission's Report 'Building Quality' recommends that Councillors should visit a sample of implemented planning permissions to assess the quality of the decisions. The purpose of such a review is not to change decisions, but to assess and improve the quality and consistency of decisions and thereby strengthen public confidence and assist in reviewing planning policy.

14.2 The Planning Committee will undertake an annual review of a sample of planning decisions made by the Committee. The review will include examples from a range of development types (e.g. major residential proposals, listed building consents and enforcement cases) and, where it is considered appropriate and beneficial, include visits to the sites.

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14.3 The Planning Committee will formally consider the results of the review and decide whether it gives rise to the need for new policies, procedures and practices.

14.4 The outcome of appeals against the decisions of the Council will be reported regularly to Planning Committee so that any lessons can be learned. The outcome of enforcement cases and legal proceedings will also be reported regularly so that the Planning Committee is kept up to date.

APPENDIX 5

Additions

Deletions

Part 5.6

PROTOCOL FOR COMMUNICATIONS WITH ELECTED MEMBERS

INTRODUCTION

This Protocol explains how communication will take place with Members of the Council. It encompasses communication between Members themselves and between Members and officers of the Council.

It is intended to state clearly, to Members and officers:

The Protocol identifies three key areas:

All Members also have access to information through their respective Group Meetings, the Opposition Spokespersons Liaison Committee and by contacting Executive Board Members direct.

1.INFORMATION PROVISION

Members are looking for information within the following broad categories:

1.1 COUNCIL, EXECUTIVE AND COMMITTEE DECISIONS

Members want access to information about the decisions being made by the Council, Committees, Executive Board and Executive Board Members.

Under the new political arrangements Executive Board Members make decisions in two forums:

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1.1.1 Agenda and Reports

The Council will:

Council, Executive Board and Committee Meetings are held in public and members can attend as observers.

Members are entitled to have access to public committee papers and background information identified in a public report to Council, Executive Board or any committee.

Circulation of Exempt reports is restricted are only made available to the Members of the Committee considering that report. (See also Appendix 1 of this protocol regarding access to exempt /confidential information)

Executive Board Member Decision Meetings are not open to the public and press to attend

The Democratic Services Unit are responsible for the publication of all Agenda and accompanying reports.

Contact: Colin Davies, Democratic Services Manager 01267 224029 Int. Ext No. 4029

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1.1.2 Minutes and Decision Notices

The Democratic Services Unit also produce and publish all Council and Committee Meeting Minutes and Executive Board and Executive Board Member Decision Notices no more than three working days after the meeting,

The Council will:

The Democratic Services Unit are responsible for publication of all Council & Committee Meeting Minutes and Executive Board / Executive Board Member Decision Notices.

Contact: Colin Davies, Democratic Services Manager 01267 224029 Int Ext No. 4029

1.1.3 Press Releases

The Council will:

Publish Press Releases, relating to Agenda items and Decision Notices, in advance of, and after, the respective meeting.

The Communications Section are responsible for publishing all press releases.

Contact: Debbie Williams, Press Manager 01267 224037 Int Ext No. 4037

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1.2 WARD INFORMATION

Members want to be kept informed about what is happening in their area.

The Council will inform local Members, by email, about:

Heads of Service are responsible for ensuring that Members are kept informed of new developments within their electoral wards.

1.3 CONTACT INFORMATION

Members want an effective system for dealing with their enquiries/complaints and they want up to date contact information for key officers.

The Council will:

The Democratic Services Unit is responsible for Member Support and the Members’ Enquiry Service.

Contact: Colin Davies, Democratic Services Manager 01267 224029 Int Ext No.4029 or the DSU Reception on 01267224028 Int Ext No. 4028

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1.4 Council News Covered by 1.1.3 above

Members want to be kept up to date with news and information relating to the Council and services.

The Council will:

The Communications Section is responsible for publishing all press releases.

Contact: Debbie Williams, Press Manager 01267 224037 Int Ext No. 4037

1.4 ACCESS TO INFORMATION

The Council’s Constitution clearly states what information Members have a right to access.

Under the Data Protection Act there are restrictions on accessing personal information. For further details please see Appendix One of this protocol and Part 4.2 of the Council’s Constitution which contains the Access to Information Procedure Rules.

2. CONSULTATION

Members want to be consulted on matters affecting their ward.

The Council will:

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Heads of Service are responsible for ensuring that Local Members are consulted on matters going before the Executive Board / Executive Board Members / Council and Committees for decision.

3. MEMBER SUPPORT

3.1 Information Technology Support

Members want require support in using IT and expect all Members are expected to use the IT Equipment provided by the Council as the initial point for accessing information.

The Council will:

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3.2 Postal Service

Members want to minimise the amount of information sent, to them, in the post.

The Council will:

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3.3 Council Diary of Meetings

Members want the Council Diary to be managed to minimise instances where meetings clash.

The Council will:

The Democratic Services Unit are responsible for managing the Council Diary of meetings.

Contact: DSU Reception on 01267224028 Int Ext No. 4028

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Appendix 1 - Restrictions on access to information

The Council’s Constitution clearly states what information Members have a right to access:

Members do not have the right to access personal or confidential information relating to a resident or business. In these instances,

individuals are protected by the Data Protection Act.

Access to personal or confidential information relating to a resident or business

Access by members to personal information held by the Council relating to a third party is a complex area of law and members are therefore advised to apply to the Council’s Monitoring Officer for the release of such information setting out their reasons for doing so. The Monitoring Officer will then consider each case on its merits and advise the member on how such information can be used and if it should be released by them to the public.

Members should also be aware that individuals are protected by the Data Protection Act. Severe penalties (100k and more) have been imposed by the Information Commissioner on Council’s that have been found to be in breach of the provisions of the Act.

More detailed advice regarding Members rights to inspect Council documents can be obtained from the Monitoring Officer, Linda Rees Jones on 01267 224010 ext 4010.

APPENDIX 6

Additions

Deletions

PART 5.7

Councillor Call for Action and Local Crime and Disorder Referrals

Guidance for Councillors

1 Introduction

1.1 The implementation of sections 19 and 20 of the Police and Justice Act 2006 in Wales has given local councillors the power to refer local crime and disorder issues to the Environmental and Public Protection, Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee. These new powers strengthen the ability of the Committee to scrutinise key partners in relation to community safety, as from 1st October 2009. This is known as a Local Crime and Disorder Referral (referred to as a LCDR in the remainder of this guidance).

1.2 The subsequent implementation of section 63 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 gives local councillors the power to refer any local matter which relates to the discharge of functions of the Council to a relevant Scrutiny Committee, as from 1st April 2012. This is known as a Councillor Call for Action (referred to as a CCfA in the remainder of this guidance).

1.3 As part of their community leadership role, councillors have always attempted to resolve issues on behalf of their local residents. The CCfA and LCDR process provides an additional avenue for councillors to follow if the normal ways of resolving an issue have not been successful and the issue meets the criteria for a referral. It should be noted that a referral under this process should be seen as a last resort after all other avenues have been exhausted.

2 How should I normally attempt to resolve a crime and disorder issue or other issue in my area?

2.1 Local issues can be resolved in a number of ways by councillors on behalf of their residents, including:-

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2.2 This is not an exhaustive list and councillors may choose different routes for specific issues. If an issue has not been resolved after exhausting all possible alternative routes, then a local councillor can refer it to the relevant Scrutiny Committee.

3 What is a Local Crime and Disorder Referral?

3.1 In order for the Committee to accept a CCfA or a LCDR as an agenda item for discussion at one of their meetings;

3.2 A councillor does not however need a referral from a constituent in order to start the process. It is important to recognise that a CCfA or LCDR is not guaranteed to solve a given problem, though it can provide a method for discussing such problems and, through discussion, attempt to overcome them.

3.3 A councillor may wish to use this process, for example, where multi-agency discussion and work has taken place in relation to a particular issue but the action taken is not seen to be working. Despite complaints to the appropriate agencies, problems continue to occur in the area.

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4 How and When should I make a CCfA or a LCDR?

4.1 A flowchart showing the process is provided at Appendix 1. A councillor may initiate the process by completing the form at Appendix 2. Further copies are available from the Democratic Services Unit. It is important that the local councillor specifies what outcome is expected from the referral. After completion the form should be returned to the Democratic Services Unit, which will log each request to track its progress and forward a copy of the form to the Head of Administration and Law (The Proper Officer) and the relevant scrutiny officer.

4.2 The Proper Officer will confirm whether or not the referral satisfies the requirements outlined in section 3 above to enable it to be placed on the agenda for discussion at a meeting of the Committee. Nevertheless, the Proper Officer reserves the right to exclude from the agenda any matter which is vexatious, discriminatory or otherwise potentially unlawful.

4.3 Assuming that the referral meets the requirements in section 3 above, the member should still be careful to ensure that the timing of the referral is not premature and that all other potential remedies outlined in section 2 above have been exhausted, before a referral is made to the Committee. Members should be aware that if a premature referral is made, the Committee is likely to refuse to deal with the issue, based on the criteria outlined in section 5 below. If the Proper Officer believes that the referral is premature, he/she will advise the member accordingly.

5 What happens when my CCfA or LCDR comes before the Committee?

5.1 It is up to the members of the Committee to decide whether, and in what form, to take the matter further. The Committee will use the following criteria to decide whether or not the referral is appropriate to be considered by Committee:-

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5.2 If the Committee decides not to accept the CCfA or LCDR it must inform the councillor of the decision and the reasons for it.

5.3 If the Committee decides to accept the CCfA or LCDR, it must decide how it intends to take the matter forward and include the CCfA or LCDR in its work programme. This could include:-

Before holding a formal hearing:-

At a formal hearing:-

5.4 Any discussion in Committee would be based on how to achieve the outcomes that the councillor bringing the referral had specified. The discussion would explore potential solutions, and the item may end with the Committee recommending that certain action be taken by the relevant responsible authorities. It should be pointed out that discussions at committee will not necessarily resolve the issue immediately. However, the process can act as a spur for councillors and responsible authorities to work together to jointly develop policies to overcome the problem.

APPENDIX 6

6 Potential outcomes from a CCfA or LCDR

6.1 Following a formal hearing, there are a number of potential outcomes from the Committee meeting:-

6.2 Once the Committee has completed its work, the councillor who made the referral will receive a copy of any report or recommendations made. The reply will also be printed on the Council’s website (unless there are reasons why the committee treats the matter as an exempt item, in which case the report will not be made public).

7 Timescales for dealing with a CCfA or LCDR

7.1 Once a CCfA or LCDR has been assessed as meeting the requirements outlined in section 3.1, the item will be included on the next available Committee agenda, unless the councillor agrees to postpone or withdraw the referral on the basis that it is premature.

7.2 In exceptional circumstances, for example where there are unavoidable time constraints, a separate meeting may be convened. Should a CCfA or LCDR hearing result in recommendations to the Executive Board or responsible authorities, they will be requested to make a response to the recommendations within 28 days and 2 months respectively.

7.3 The Committee will monitor implementation of any recommendations on a regular basis as part of its forward work programme.

8 Review of this Guidance

8.2 This guidance is based on a model prepared and approved by the Association of County Secretaries and Solicitors (ACSeS) in October 2009, amended in light of section 63 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011. ACSeS will review their model guidance in light of experience of the use of these procedures by local authorities in Wales, and this guidance may therefore be modified accordingly.

Appendix 1





















Flow Chart for
Councillor Call for Action or Crime and Disorder Referral
















Appendix 2

COUNCILLOR CALL FOR ACTION OR LOCAL CRIME AND DISORDER REFERRAL

This form should be used by any county councillor who would like a scrutiny committee to consider a Call for Action or Crime and Disorder Referral in their electoral ward area.

For the attention of the Head of Administration and Law

From: Councillor _________________________________

Ward: _________________________________________

Contact details:

Telephone: _______________________________

E-mail: ________________________________

SUBJECT

 

Details:

Please briefly explain what the issue is and how it affects your ward

 

Action taken to date:

Please explain what steps have been taken, with whom, to try to resolve the issue (please tick the actions you have taken to date)

□ Informal discussions with officers or other councillors

Informal discussions with partner representatives

Referral of matters to other “scrutiny bodies” such as Community Health Councils or internal audit committees

□ Approach the relevant Neighbourhood Policing Team or monthly local Partnerships and Communities Together (PACT) meeting

□ Approach Local Anti-Social-Behaviour Groups

□ Formal discussions with officers and councillors

□ Write a formal letter to the Executive Board Member on behalf of constituents

□ Ask a question at Full Council

□ Submit a motion to Full Council

□ Public meeting

□ Petition

□ Complaint

□ Freedom of Information request

□ Communication with local MPs or AMs

□ Web or email based campaigns

Additional actions and further detail:

……………………………………………………………………………...

………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………

Timescales

Are there any deadlines associated with the issue which the scrutiny committee needs to be aware of?

    Yes / No (please delete as applicable)

    If yes, please give details

Expected Outcome

Please describe the outcome you hope to gain via this referral

 

Papers attached:

Please list documents attached which should evidence the impact of the issue, the steps taken and any responses received.

 

The following criteria will be taken into consideration when the Committee decide whether to progress with your CCfA or LCDR:

Please consider whether you referral might be considered premature by the Committee. Consider whether other potential remedies have been exhausted, before a referral is made. Members should be aware that if a premature referral is made, the Committee is likely to refuse to deal with the issue, based on the criteria outlined above. If the Proper Officer believes that the referral is premature, he/she will advise you accordingly.

Please return your completed form to the Democratic Services Unit, Carmarthenshire County Council, County Hall, Carmarthen SA31 9JB