The Committee considered an application submitted by Councillor Wendy Heron for the grant of a dispensation under the provisions of the Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations to speak and vote in relation to council business at meetings of Henllanfallteg Community Council regarding the provision of a sewerage solution for the community hall, pub and several homes within the village.
It was reported that Councillor Heron would have a personal and prejudicial interest in such business as she was a trustee of the village hall.
It was reported that a dispensation was sought by Councillor Heron by virtue of Regulation 2(2)(d)(e)(f) and (h) ie:-
· Regulation 2(2)(d) – the nature of the member’s interest is such that the member’s participation in the business to which the interest relates would not damage public confidence in the conduct of the relevant authority’s business.
· Regulation 2(2) (e) – the interest is common to the member and a significant proportion of the public.
· Regulation 2(2)(f) – the participation of the member in the business to which the interest relates is justified by the members particular role or expertise
· Regulation 2(2)(h) – the business which is to be considered relates to the finances or property of a voluntary organisation of whose management committee or board the member is a member otherwise than as a representative of the relevant authority and the member has no other interest in that business provided that any dispensation shall not extend to participation in any vote with respect to that business.
The committee was advised that whilst Councillor Heron had also sought dispensation by virtue of Regulation 2(2)(c) relating to political balance, that was not applicable in this case. Additionally, Regulation 2(2)(e) was not applicable as it did not affect a significant proportion of the public.
If the Committee was minded to grant Councillor Heron’s request, it would also need to determine the duration of that dispensation.
The Committee in considering the request, commented on the reference within Councillor Heron’s application to the potential for the Community Council to not be quorate when the above matter was being discussed and, should such a circumstance arise, she be granted dispensation to also vote.
The Committee having regard to the above, considered that without further supporting evidence relating to quoracy, it would be unable to accede to the request to grant dispensation to vote should such a circumstance arise. However, being mindful that the meeting to which Councillor Heron sought dispensation was to be held in July 2023, it was suggested that any dispensation granted could be up to the end of July thereby enabling Councillor Heron to submit a further dispensation application at a later stage and to also provide clarification within that application on the quorate situation at the Community Council’s meetings.
Following a discussion it was
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that dispensation be granted under Regulations 2(2)(d)(f) and (h) of the Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensation) (Wales) Regulations 2001 to Councillor Wendy Heron to speak, but NOT vote on council business at meetings of Henllanfallteg Community Council regarding the provision of a sewerage solution for the community hall, pub and several homes within the village, and the dispensation be valid until the end of July 2023.