County Council

 

Wednesday, 24th May, 2017

 

 

PRESENT: Councillor E. Morgan [Chair]

 

Councillors:

 C.A. Campbell

J.M. Charles

D.M. Cundy

A. Davies

W.R.A. Davies

G. Davies

I.W. Davies

J.A. Davies

S.L. Davies

E. Dole

J.S. Edmunds

P.M. Edwards

D.C. Evans

H.A.L. Evans

L.D. Evans

W.T. Evans

P. Hughes-Griffiths

A.D. Harries

J.K. Howell

P.M. Hughes

A. James

J.D. James

D.M. Jenkins

J.P. Jenkins

H.I. Jones

A. Lenny

M.J.A. Lewis

K. Madge

S. Matthews

D. Price

H.B. Shepardson

A.D.T. Speake

L.M. Stephens

E.G. Thomas

G.B. Thomas

G. Thomas

J. Tremlett

J.E. Williams

D.E. Williams

F. Akhtar

L.R. Bowen

K.V. Broom

S.A. Curry

C.A.. Davies

H.L. Davies

T.A.J. Davies

R.E. Evans

A.L. Fox

S.J.G. Gilasbey

C.J. Harris

T.M. Higgins

R. James

A.C.J. Jones

D. Jones

G.R. Jones

K. Lloyd

A.S.J. McPherson

D. Nicholas

A.Vaughan Owen

B.D.J. Phillips

J.S. Phillips

J.G. Prosser

E.M.J.G. Schiavone

B. Thomas

D.T. Williams

 

 

 

 

Also Present:

Mr M. James             -           Chief Executive

Mr C. Moore              -           Director of Corporate Services

Mr J. Morgan             -           Director of Community Services

Mr G. Morgans          -           Interim Director of Education & Children's Services

Ms R. Mullen                        -           Director of Environment

Mr P.R. Thomas       -           Assistant Chief Executive (People Management &                                                                  Performance)

Ms W. Walters          -           Assistant Chief Executive (Regeneration & Policy)

Mr M.S. Davies         -           Democratic Services Officer

 

Chamber, County Hall, Carmarthen : 11.00 a.m. - 12.00 p.m.

 

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1.            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND PERSONAL MATTERS

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors S.M. Allen, G. John, B. Jones, T.J. Jones, A.G. Morgan (morning session only) S. Najmi, B.A.L. Roberts (morning session only) and D. Thomas. 

 

The Chair referred to the sad passing of former Councillor W.D. Thomas and extended his condolences to his family.

 

The Chair referred to the sad passing of former First Minister Rhodri Morgan and extended his condolences to his family.

 

Council stood in silent tribute to the victims of the recent bomb attack in Manchester. The Chief Executive informed Members that he had sent a letter of support to the City of Manchester.

 

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2.            DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS

 

Councillor

Minute Number

Nature of Interest

A.D.T. Speake

16 -  Amendments to the Council’s Constitution

In receipt of a war pension.

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<AI3>

3.            OUTGOING CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

The Retiring Chair, Councillor Eryl Morgan, welcomed distinguished guests, Councillors, staff and friends to the meeting.

 

Councillor Morgan reflected on his year in office and thanked the residents of Carmarthenshire for inviting him to a number of functions and events which, as Chair, had provided him with a unique opportunity to see what was happening in communities within the County, and had provided an opportunity to mix with the various organisations and bodies that operated within the rich and varied county of Carmarthenshire. He expressed his sincere gratitude for all the support he and his consort had received throughout what he personally considered to be a very successful year. The Retiring Chair advised that one of his priorities during the year had been to raise money for his nominated charities namely Ty Bryngwyn Hospice and Prostrate Cancer Equipment at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, and he thanked all members, staff and the residents of Carmarthenshire for their support and donations. He thanked his Vice Chairman, Councillor Irfon Jones, and his Consort, Mrs. Jean Jones, for their support and company during his term of office

 

The Retiring Chair expressed his gratitude to Mr Mark James, for his advice and professional guidance, and to Directors and staff of the authority who had supported the work of the Chair, including the Democratic Services Unit, his driver Jeff Jones, and in particular Eira Evans for her professional and personal support, arranging his events and making sure that everything always ran smoothly.

 

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4.            ELECTION OF CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE 2017/18 MUNICIPAL YEAR

 

It was moved by Councillor E. Morgan and seconded by Councillor E. Dole and UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that Councillor H.I. Jones be elected Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council for the 2017/18 Municipal Year.

 

Councillor H.I. Jones made his declaration of acceptance of office and was invested by the retiring Chair with the Chain of Office.

 

Councillor H.I. Jones thanked the Independent Group for putting his name forward for Chair of the Authority, and expressed his gratitude to all Councillors for their support in appointing him as Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council. He advised that he hoped he would emulate the high standard of Chairmanship provided by his predecessors.  Councillor Jones paid tribute to the retiring Chair, Councillor E. Morgan and presented the Retiring Chair with a portrait and photographic album tracing some of the events attended during his year of office, together with a Past Chair’s Commemorative Pendant. 

 

The retiring Chair’s consort Mrs Jean Morgan thereupon presented Mrs Jean Jones with her Chain of Office and Mrs Jean Jones presented Mrs Jean Morgan with a Past Chair’s Consort’s Commemorative Pendant.

 

TRIBUTES

Tributes were also paid to the Retiring Chair for the excellent service he had given to the Council by the Leaders of the Plaid Cymru, Independent and Labour Groups.  Particular reference was made to Cllr Morgan’s excellent chairmanship of Council meetings. The Chief Executive also paid tribute on behalf of the Authority’s staff to the retiring Chair who had fulfilled his role with great professionalism and had been very active and supportive of the work of the Council.

 

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5.            ELECTION OF VICE CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE 2017/18 MUNICIPAL YEAR

 

It was moved by Councillor C. Campbell, seconded by Councillor L.M. Stephens and UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that Councillor J.M. Charles be elected Vice-Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council for the 2017/18 Municipal Year. 

 

Councillor J.M. Charles made his declaration of acceptance of office and was invested by the Chair with the Chain of Office. 

 

The Chair congratulated the Vice Chair and his Consort on their appointments. 

The Vice-Chair’s consort Mrs Jean Jones was presented with a Chain of Office by the Chair’s consort Mrs. Jean Morgan.

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6.            ELECTION OF LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

It was moved and seconded that Councillor Emlyn Dole be elected Leader of the Council.

RESOLVED that Councillor Emlyn Dole be elected Leader of the Council.

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<AI7>

7.            ADJOURNMENT

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice Chair and UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the remainder of the business on the agenda should stand adjourned until 2.00 p.m. that day.

 

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<AI8>

8.            RECONVENED MEETING

 

The Council reconvened in the Chamber, County Hall, Carmarthen at 2.00 p.m.

 

Members attending the reconvened meeting:-

 

PRESENT: - Councillor H.I. Jones [Chair]

 

Councillors:

F. Akhtar, K.V. Broom, C.A. Campbell, J.M. Charles, S.A. Curry, A. Davies, T.A.J. Davies, C.A. Davies, G. Davies, H.L. Davies, J.A. Davies, S.L. Davies, E. Dole, J.S. Edmunds, P.M. Edwards, H.A.L. Evans, L.D. Evans, R. Evans, W.T. Evans, A.L. Fox, S.J. Gilasbey, T.M. Higgins, P. Hughes Griffiths, P.M. Hughes, A. James, J.D. James, R. James, D.M. Jenkins, J.P. Jenkins, A.C. Jones, D.L. Jones, G.R. Jones, A. Lenny, M.J.A. Lewis, K. Lloyd, K. Madge, S. Matthews, A.S.J. McPherson, A.G. Morgan, E. Morgan, D. Nicholas, B.D.J. Phillips, J.S. Phillips, D. Price, J.G. Prosser, B.A.L. Roberts, E.M.J.G. Schiavone, H.B. Shepardson, A.D.T. Speake, L.M. Stephens, B. Thomas, E.G. Thomas, G. Thomas, J. Tremlett, A. Vaughan-Owen, D.E. Williams, D.T. Williams and J.E. Williams.

 

The following officers were in attendance:

 

Mr M. James                          -           Chief Executive

Mr C. Moore                          -           Director of Corporate Services

Mr J. Morgan                         -           Director of Communities,

Mr G. Morgans                      -           Acting Director of Education & Children

Mrs R. Mullen                       -           Director of Environment

Ms L. Rees Jones                -           Head of Administration & Law

Mr P. Thomas                       -           Assistant Chief Executive (People

                                                            Management & Performance)

Mrs W. Walters                     -           Assistant Chief Executive (Regeneration &                                                                   Policy)

Mr I. Llewellyn                      -           Executive Support Manager

Mrs H. Morgan                      -           Economic Development Manager

Mrs M. Evans Thomas        -           Principal Democratic Services Officer

 

Chamber, County Hall, Carmarthen, Carmarthen : 2.00 p.m. – 3.15 p.m.

 

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<AI9>

9.            APOLOGIES

 

Further apologies for absence were received from Councillors L.R. Bowen, D.M. Cundy, I.W. Davies, W.R.A. Davies, C.J. Harris, K. Howell, T.J. Jones and G.B. Thomas.

 

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<AI10>

10.         DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTEREST

 

Councillor

Minute Number

Nature of Interest

K. Madge

12 -  Leader of the Council’s Annual Report

His daughter works in social care.

 

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<AI11>

11.         TO RECEIVE THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S REPORT ON THE APPOINTMENT OF COUNCILLORS SELECTED TO SERVE ON THE EXECUTIVE BOARD.

 

The Leader reported that he had considered the appointment of members to serve on the Executive Board and informed Council of the following appointments:-

Councillor                                                     Portfolio

Mair Stephens                      -           Deputy Leader

Cefin Campbell                    -           Communities and Rural Affairs

Glynog Davies                      -           Education and Children

Hazel Evans                         -           Environment

Philip Hughes                      -           Public Protection

Peter Hughes Griffiths        -           Culture, Sport & Tourism

David Jenkins                      -           Resources

Jane Tremlett                        -           Social Care and Health

He provided details of the Executive Board Member portfolios and explained that the appointment of Councillor Linda Evans as the Executive Board Member for Housing was yet to be confirmed.

NOTED.

 

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<AI12>

12.         TO RECEIVE THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL'S ANNUAL REPORT

 

[NOTE:  Councillor K. Madge had earlier declared an interest in this item.]

 

The Leader presented his annual report, copies of which were made available at the meeting, which looked back upon the achievements of the Council over the past 12 months.  This year’s report was slightly different as it drew to a conclusion not only the last municipal year but also the 5 year term of the Council. 

 

The recent elections saw the retirement of a number of long serving Councillors and other members whose term of office had ended.  He referred to their desire to represent their local communities and praised their contribution to the work of the Council over the years. He paid particular tribute to Councillor Meryl Gravell for her commitment and dedication to the Council and her sincere desire to make Carmarthenshire a better place for all its residents.

 

He referred to the two very distinct promises he made when he became Leader namely that we would focus on regeneration across the county and that we would protect frontline services. The Executive Board fully embraced his vision for the county and he thanked them for their contribution to what has been a hugely successful year for the Council, all of which had been achieve in the face of savage cut-backs in public spending by the Welsh and UK governments.  

 

The Leader pointed out that securing the Swansea Bay City Deal was unquestionably the highlight of the last year.  It is the biggest ever investment in south west Wales.  Carmarthenshire will benefit from three specific projects – a Wellness and Life Science Village in Llanelli, a creative industry project at Yr Egin in Carmarthen and a skills and talent initiative which will support skills development for the whole region.

 

He referred to the fact that over the last 12 months the Council has:-

 

·         Invested many millions of pounds in exciting projects to create hundreds of well-paid jobs to help keep our young people in our county;

·         Launched the 1,000 affordable homes programme, including building 60 council houses;

·         Kept the council tax rise to 2.5%;

·         Protected schools from real cuts to funding;

·         Protected Social Services and found extra money for essential highways repairs;

·         Given our lowest-paid staff a well-deserved 2.6% pay rise.

 

Two main events in the last year will have a significant and long lasting effect on local government in Wales.  Firstly, the Minister for Local Government losing his seat in the Welsh Assembly elections in May 2016, which brought an abrupt end to the proposal for the reorganisation of local government and introduced in its place a far greater emphasis on collaboration between councils.  Carmarthenshire has fully embraced this concept and the success of the Swansea Bay City Deal speaks eloquently of our determination to work closely with neighbouring authorities.  Secondly, there was the decision taken by the British people to leave the European Union.  Carmarthenshire County Council has benefitted enormously from EU funding over many years and the result of last year’s referendum is likely to leave us with a funding shortfall.  We will have to wait and see if the government in Westminster will live up to its promises to plug the gap. 

 

The Leader stated that he was proud of what has been achieved in Carmarthenshire in just two short years, however, there was much more to do and he was confident that the new Executive Board will take up the challenge and will press on with the work of creating more jobs, raising living standards, providing affordable homes and making our communities event better places in which to live and work. 

 

The Chair thanked the Leader for his report and presentation and invited the Leader of the Opposition Group to respond.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group thanked the Leader of the Council for his report.  He congratulated the Council on what has been accomplished and referred to the contribution of the previous administration in those achievements.  He complimented the Chief Executive and former Councillor Meryl Gravell on the success of the Swansea Bay City Deal scheme in Llanelli and the investment and jobs the scheme will bring to the area.  He referred to the importance of the Council becoming as green as possible and the need to work together on this initiative.  He asked the administration to look carefully at any budget cuts especially in education as class sizes are increasing at an alarming rate.

 

The Chair thanked the Leader of the Labour Group for his response and invited the Leader of the Independent Group to comment on the report.

 

The Leader of the Independent Group stated that the Leader’s report bring together all the excellent work being undertaken by the Authority.  She added that regeneration takes time but coalitions are there to make sure that things move forward.  She referred to the fact that such a report would be difficult for other Authorities to meet as we have a very different way of working in Carmarthenshire.  We have a vision and we stick to that vision.  She conceded that there are challenges but we will face those and we will work through them.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Leader’s Annual report, as circulated at the meeting, be noted.

 

</AI12>

<AI13>

13.         PROTOCOL FOR THE NOMINATION OF CHAIR OF COUNCIL

 

Council considered a report detailing a suggested protocol for the nomination of Chair of Council for the period 2017/18 to 2022/23.  Having a protocol in place assists with the preparations for the Annual Meeting each year, with nominations being agreed by Council at its April meeting (other than in a year of County Council elections).

 

The previous Council adopted a protocol for nomination of Chair of Council up until the 2017/18 municipal year and if Council resolved to apply a similar protocol to the previous one, nominations would be made as follows:-

 

2017/18          Independent (as agreed at Council on the 1st June, 2012)

2018/19          Plaid Cymru

2019/20          Labour

2020/21          Independent

2021/22          Plaid Cymru

2022//23         Labour

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the protocol for nomination of Chair of Council, as detailed above, be adopted for the period 2017/18 to 2022/23.

 

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<AI14>

14.         COMPOSITION OF THE COUNCIL'S SCRUTINY, REGULATORY AND OTHER COMMITTEES AND THE APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO SERVE UPON THEM

 

The Council considered a report detailing the proposed composition of the Council’s Scrutiny, Regulatory and Other Committees and the appointment of members to serve upon them. It was noted that any membership changes proposed by the political groups were highlighted within the report.

 

In accordance with the constitution the Council is required to appoint members to serve on its committees and to allocate those seats so that they reflect the overall political composition of the Council.

 

Having considered the new political structure of the Authority and in order to ensure that there was a full allocation of seats available for distribution amongst the political groups and unaffiliated members, it was recommended that the calculation for the distribution of seats on committees be increased by 1 from 167 (as agreed by the previous Council) to 168 with the number of seats available on Scrutiny Committees increasing from 67 to 68.  Changes were also recommended to the number of members on individual regulatory and other committees in order to best represent the political balance of the new Council, thus ensuring that all seats are allocated on a politically balanced basis, with the seats on committees also being allocated to reflect, as far as possible, the political balance of the Council as a whole.

 

The following nominations had been received from the Leader of the Labour Group for the remaining committee vacancies:-

 

- Councillor John Prosser to sit on the Dyfed Pension Fund Committee

- Councillor John James to be a substitute member of the Housing Review Panel

- Councillor Louvain Roberts to site on the Planning Committee

 

There were no additional membership changes.

RESOLVED

14.1    to increase the total number of seats available on committees by 1       from 167 to 168 seats;

14.2    following the adoption of 14.1 above, to increase the number of seats on Scrutiny Committees from 67 to 68;

14.3    that the composition and membership of the Council’s Regulatory,      Scrutiny and Other Committees for the 2017/18 Municipal Year, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, including the above-mentioned   nominations from the Labour Group, be approved.

 

</AI14>

<AI15>

15.         ELECELECTION OF CHAIRS AND VICE CHAIRS OF THE COUNCIL’S COMMITTEES AND PANELS FOR THE 2017/18 MUNICIPAL YEAR

 

Council considered nominations which had been received for the appointment of Chairs and Vice Chairs of Committees and Panels for the 2017/18 municipal year. 

 

In order to receive nominations for Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Committees it was

 

RESOLVED to suspend CPR 4(2) in order to receive nominations for Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Committee for the 2017/18 municipal year.

 

No further nominations were received and it was therefore

 

FURTHER RESOLVED that the following appointments to Chairs and Vice Chairs of Regulatory, Scrutiny, Other Committees and Panels be made for the 2017/18 municipal year:-

 

COMMITTEE / PANEL

CHAIR

VICE CHAIR

Community Scrutiny Committee

Councillor S.L. Davies

Councillor J.K. Howell

Education & Children Scrutiny Committee

Councillor D. Price

Councillor E.G. Thomas

Environmental & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee

Councillor J.D. James

Councillor A. Davies

Policy & Resources Scrutiny Committee

Councillor A.G. Morgan

Councillor D.E. Williams

Social Care & Health Scrutiny Committee

Councillor G. Thomas

Councillor I.W. Davies

Appeals Committee

Councillor J.K. Howell

Councillor S.M. Allen

Appointments Committee A - Directors

Councillor E. Dole

Councillor L.M. Stephens

Appointments Committee B - Heads of Service

Councillor L.M. Stephens

Councillor E. Dole

Democratic Services Committee

Councillor R. James

Councillor W.T. Evans

Planning Committee

Councillor A. Lenny

Councillor H.I. Jones

Licensing Committee

Councillor E.G. Thomas

Councillor D.E. Williams

Member Appointments Committee

Councillor A.D.T. Speake

Councillor W.R.A. Davies

Housing Review Panel

Councillor G.B. Thomas

Councillor I.W. Davies

Investment Panel

Councillor D.E. Williams

Not required

 

</AI15>

<AI16>

16.         AMENDMENTS TO THE COUNCIL'S CONSTITUTION

 

[NOTE:  Councillor A.D.T. Speake had earlier declared an interest in this item.]

 

Council was advised that the Size and Composition of Local Planning Authority Committees (Wales) Regulations 2017 came into force on the 5th May, 2017 which require Planning Committees in Wales to be structured and operated in accordance with the following requirements:-

 

-           The Planning Committee must contain no few than 11 members and         no more than 21 members, but no more than 50% of the Authority         members (rounded up to the nearest whole number);

-           Where wards have more than one elected member, only one member        may sit on the Planning Committee, in order to allow other ward members to perform the representative role for local community             interests.

 

In addition, the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 also came into force on the 5th May, 2017 which required the following:-

 

-           Each meeting of the Planning Committee must have a quorum of 50%      to make decisions; and

-           The use of substitute members is prohibited.

 

Failure to adhere to the requirements of the aforementioned regulations would will affect the validity of decisions taken by the Planning Committee.  It was therefore necessary for the Council’s constitution to be amended in order to ensure that Planning Committees are appointed in accordance with these requirements prior to making decisions.

 

Council was also advised that constitutionally, responsibility for adopting a Scheme of Members’ Allowances rests with the Council but the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) now prescribes the amounts to be paid with a view to providing a consistent national framework for councillor remuneration.  Council considered changes for 2017/18 at its meeting held on 26th April, 2017 (minute 9.1 refers).  A copy of the Allowances Scheme adopted by Council for 2016/17 amended for implementation for the 2017/18 municipal year was attached to the report for consideration.

 

The report also contained additional amendments to reflect the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Working Group at its meeting held on 16th December, 2016.

 

Reference was made to CPR 10.1 and whilst supporting this provision, it was felt that the CPR should be amended to prevent lengthy preambles at meetings and the following amendment was proposed in the form of an addition to CPR 10.1:  “A reasonably concise background or preamble may be submitted with the question and published on the agenda of the meeting but only the question itself and a supplementary may be put verbally.”     

 

The amendment was duly seconded and it was

 

RESOLVED

 

16.1    To amend the Council’s Constitution (parts 3.1, 4.1 and 5.2) to    include          the changes to the size and composition of Planning Committees which came into force on the 5th May, 2017, and any additional         amendments recommended by the Constitutional Review Working     Group;

16.2    To amend Part 4.5 (Scrutiny Procedure Rules), 5.6 (Protocol for             Communication with Elected Member) and Part 4.1 – CPR 22          (Filming of Meetings) to take into account and clarify             recommendations made by the Constitutional Review Working Group;

16.3    To adopt the Councillors’ and Co-opted Members’ Salaries and             Allowances Scheme for 2017/18 (Part 6.1);

16.4    To approve any necessary changes to the Constitution arising from   decisions made earlier in the meeting;

16.5    That the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make any minor      amendments, correct typographical or drafting errors and ensure all cross-references within the Constitution are correct and that         these be reported to the Constitutional Review Working Group as         and when necessary;

16.6    that the proposed amendment to CPR 10.1, as detailed above, be          referred to the Constitutional Review Working Group for consideration   and a report be brought back to Council;

16.7    other than the above amendments, the Constitution remains      unchanged.

 

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<AI17>

17.         APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO THE CROSS PARTY CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW WORKING GROUP AND PAY POLICY ADVISORY PANEL

 

Council considered nominations received in respect of the appointment of members to serve on the Constitutional Review Working Group and the Pay Policy Advisory Panel.

 

RESOLVED that appointments be made as follows:-

 

Working Group/Advisory Panel

 

Representatives Appointed

Constitutional Review Working Group

 

 

Cllr. E.  Dole

Cllr. J.S. Edmunds

Cllr. H.A.L. Evans

Cllr. W.T. Evans

Cllr. P. Hughes Griffiths

Cllr. J.D. James

Cllr. R. James

Cllr. D.M. Jenkins

Cllr. L.M. Stephens

Cllr. J. Tremlett

Pay Policy Advisory Panel

Cllr. E.  Dole

Cllr. J.S. Edmunds

Cllr. H.A.L. Evans

Cllr. D.M. Jenkins

Cllr. J.G. Prosser

Cllr. L.M. Stephens

 

 

</AI17>

<AI18>

18.         TO APPOINT REPRESENTATIVES TO OUTSIDE BODIES

 

Council considered nominations received in respect of the appointment of members to serve on the undermentioned outside bodies.

 

RESOLVED that appointments be made as follows:

 

 

 

Outside Body

 

Representatives Appointed

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Cllr. G. Davies

Cllr. A. James

Dyfed Powys Police & Crime Panel

Cllr. J.K. Howell

Cllr. T.J. Jones

Cllr. E. Morgan

 

Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Authority

 

Cllr. J.M. Charles

Cllr. D.C. Evans

Cllr. K. Madge

Cllr. E.G. Thomas

Cllr. D.E. Williams

 

 

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CHAIR                                                                                   DATE

 

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