Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Thursday, 19th November, 2020 10:00

Venue: remotely via Microsoft Teams


No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members’ Code of Conduct adopted by Council on 1 September 2008.




Councillor P Davies declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 7 as he was a colleague/friend of two of the applicants. Councillor Davies left the meeting whilst this item was being considered.



Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To receive for approval the Minutes of 12/12/19



RESOLVED:                      That the minutes of a meeting of the Standards Committee dated 12 December 2019, be approved as a true and accurate record.



Ombudsman Annual Letter 2019-2020 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:


The Monitoring Officer presented a report, the purpose of which, was to present the Ombudsman’s Annual Letter for 2019-2020 to the Committee.


She explained that the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) reports annually on the number of complaints against public bodies received by its office.


The Authority’s Complaints Officer was the Contact Officer for the PSOW, whilst the Monitoring Officer was responsible for liaising with the PSOW regarding Member Code of Conduct complaints. 


Appendix A to the report provided the Ombudsman’s Annual Letter for 2019-2020.


The Monitoring Officer confirmed that the number of complaints against the Authority for the period 2019-2020 was 34 compared with 33 in 2018-19. The figure for 2019-20 represented 0.23 complaints received per 1000 residents, with none of the complaints against the Authority proceeding to investigation. The PSOW intervened in just 1 of these cases.


Children’s Services attracted the largest number of complaints at 15, followed by Adult Services with 4. By its nature Children’s Services attracts a higher number of complaints than other service areas, and a number of the complaints received related to the decisions made by Children’s Social Services under safeguarding legislation, which was a volatile service area.


The Monitoring Officer added, that 7 Code of Conduct complaints against the Authority’s Councillors were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in this period and all were closed after initial consideration. 3 Code of Conduct complaints were received against Town and Community Councils in Bridgend, 2 of which required no further action, with the other being closed after initial consideration.


The Chairperson noted that the number of complaints made in Bridgend seemed low and it was pleasing to note this. 


RESOLVED:                                That the Committee noted the Ombudsman’s Annual Letter attached at Appendix A to the report.



Urgent Items

To consider any item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in

accordance with Rule 4 of the Council’s Procedure Rules, and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.




The Monitoring Officer advised the Committee of a current investigation being undertaken by the PSOW. This matter was linked to other reports that had been considered by the Cabinet and had generated press and social media interest.


The Monitoring Officer confirmed that the Committee would be updated as appropriate when the PSOW had concluded the investigation.



Exclusion of the Public

The Reports relating to the following items are not for publication as they contain exempt information as defined in Paragraph 12 of Part 4, and Paragraph 21 of Part 5 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007.


If following the application of the public interest test the Committee resolves pursuant to the Act to consider these items in private, the public will be excluded from the meeting during such consideration.





RESOLVED:                          That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business as they contained exempt information as defined in Paragraph 12 of Part 4 and Paragraph 21 of Part 5 of Schedule 12A of the Act.


Following the application of the public interest test it was resolved that pursuant to the Act referred to above, to consider the following items in private, with the public excluded from the meeting, as it was considered that in all circumstances relating to the items, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information, because the information contained in both reports, was of a personal and/or confidential nature and would be prejudicial to the persons listed in these items, if the information so mentioned that related to them, was disclosed. 



Shortlisting Of Candidates For The Position Of Town & Community Councillor On The Standards Committee


Referral By Ombudsman Of Investigation Under S69 Of The Local Government Act 2000