Standards Committee

 

Monday, 12th November, 2018

 

PRESENT:    Mr M.A. Morgan [Chair]

 

Independent Members:

Mrs M. Dodd, Mrs J. James and Mr A. Williams

 

Community Member:

Town Councillor P. Rogers

 

Councillor:

J.G. Gilasbey

 

The following officers were in attendance:

Ms L. Rees-Jones                -           Head of Administration and Law

Mr R. Edgecombe                -           Legal Services Manager

Mrs M. Evans Thomas        -           Principal Democratic Services Officer

 

Chamber, County Hall, Carmarthen : 10.00 a.m. - 10.35 a.m.

 

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1.            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Daphne Evans, Independent Member, and Councillor G.B. Thomas.

 

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2.            DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTEREST

 

There were no declarations of personal interest.

 

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3.            APPLICATION FOR DISPENSATION BY COUNCILLORS CEFIN CAMPBELL, GARETH THOMAS, JEAN LEWIS, KEN HOWELL, TYSSUL EVANS, MANSEL CHARLES, EIRWYN WILLIAMS, ANN DAVIES AND ARWEL DAVIES

 

The Committee considered applications submitted by County Councillors Cefin Campbell, Gareth Thomas, Jean Lewis, Ken Howell, Tyssul Evans, Mansel Charles, Eirwyn Williams, Ann Davies and Arwel Davies for the grant of  dispensation under the provisions of the Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations to speak and make written representations at meetings of Carmarthenshire County Council in respect of any Council business relating to or likely to affect farming and agriculture.

 

It was reported that dispensation was sought by each Councillor in that they could potentially have a personal interest in such business by virtue of paragraphs 10(2)(a)(i), 10(2)(a)(iv), 10(2)(b)(i) and 10(2)(b)9ii) of the Code of Conduct in that they are all either actively engaged in farming in the county, own farm land which is actively farmed by others or have close personal associates who are actively engaged in farming.

 

The members’ interests were also prejudicial as a member of the public with knowledge of the relevant facts would reasonably regard that interests as being so significant that they would be likely to prejudice the councillors’ judgement of the public interest.

 

The Councillors had accordingly requested that they be granted dispensation on two grounds set out in the Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001, namely:-

 

(1)       The Councillors’ participation in such matters would not damage public     confidence in the conduct of the Council’s business;

(2)       That their participation is justified by their particular expertise.

 

The Acting Legal Services Manager reminded the Committee that Councillors Gareth Thomas and Jean Lewis were previously granted dispensation in respect of these matters in June 2016 until the Local Authority elections in May 2017.

All the above-mentioned Councillors (with the exception of Councillor Campbell) were subsequently granted dispensation in respect of these matters from September 2017 to September 2018.  Councillor Arwel Davies was granted dispensation from December 2017 to September 2018.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED

 

3.1       that dispensation be granted under Regulations 2(d) and (f) of the        Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales)           Regulations             to County Councillors Cefin Campbell, Gareth Thomas, Jean Lewis,          Ken Howell, Tyssul Evans, Mansel Charles, Eirwyn Williams, Ann           Davies and Arwel Davies to SPEAK, BUT NOT VOTE, AND TO MAKE WRITTEN REPRESENTATIONS at meetings of Carmarthenshire       County Council in respect of any Council business relating to or likely       to affect farming and agriculture, until the 31st March, 2019;

3.2       That delegated authority be granted to the Monitoring Officer to             grant any further requests for such a dispensation up to and   including 31st March, 2019.

 

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