Agenda and minutes

Democratic Services Committee - Tuesday, 20th March, 2018 16:00

Venue: Committee Rooms 2/3, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions

Contact: Michael Pitman  Email:

No. Item


Election of Chairperson


The Head of Democratic Services (HDS) advised the Committee that the Chairperson Cllr RM James was unable to attend the meeting.   The HDS invited nominations for a representative from the committee to be appointed as Chairperson for the meeting.  Cllr K Watts was nominated and seconded as Chairperson.


RESOLVED:  That Councillor K Watts be appointed as Chairperson of the committee for the meeting


Declarations of Interests

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 the Council from 1 September 2008.




Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To receive for approval, the minutes of the 17/01/2018


RESOLVED:   That the minutes of a meeting of the Democratic Services Committee held on the 17/01/2018 were approved as a true and accurate record. 


Service and Performance Updates pdf icon PDF 87 KB


The HDS presented a report updating the committee on the performance of services provided to Elected Members.


Member Referrals

He then took the Democratic Services Committee through the performance data of Member Referrals.  He outlined the percentages of referrals completed by directorates within 10 and 20 days and advised that on average more than 50% referrals had been completed within 10 days and that more than 75% were completed within 20 days.  He added that there had been a 40% increase in number of referrals made in the last year compared to the average number of referrals received for each of the past 4 years.


Members agreed that 20 day completion percentage should be higher and indicated that a majority of referrals should be completed within the 20 day period.  Directorates should also be encouraged to achieve a higher percentage of completed referrals within the 10 day period.


The Committee considered it a positive indicator that more referrals were being made.  The HDS commented that some members were also reporting their referrals to other organisations as well as to the Member Referrals System which led to an element of duplication.


The HDS informed the meeting of the recommendation of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee to raise their concerns regarding the operation and use of the member referral system to the Democratic Services Committee.  This recommendation dovetailed with the planned review of the Member Referrals system which was identified at the last meeting of the Committee. The intention was to review all aspects of the Member Referrals system and processes to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.


Members voiced their concerns about the speed and efficiency of some of the referrals as they were being circulated to a service focal point before being sent out to the relevant department. It was suggested that referrals should be made directly to the relevant person so that it can be dealt with quickly and bypass the ‘middleman’.   Members were also keen to have a prioritisation of referrals to enable those considered as urgent to be processed quickly.  The HDS informed the meeting that their comments would be included as part of the review.


The HDS informed members of the introduction of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and how these new regulations would affect Member Referrals. One of the implications would be that personal data could not be kept once it has ceased to being relevant and would need to be deleted.  He added that members were data controllers and when handling data about any individual they had full responsibility for that data, and needed to act accordingly. Members agreed to have GDPR training in June 2018 ensure they had a full understanding of the new regulations.


Member Development


The HDS informed members of the member development activities that had been held since October 2017 and the levels of participation at these events. It was noted that while some of the activities had high attendance, many had approximately 50% attendance. The completion level of  for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 134.


Review of the functionality of pdf icon PDF 242 KB


The HDS outlined some of the functionality of the Modern.Gov system, which the Democratic Services Team were currently using and the additional functionality which was planned to be introduced.


He explained that Modern.Gov was used facilitate much of the information relating to Elected Members and their roles.  The system updated their profiles, attendance records, declarations and other information. He informed the committee that staff intended to increase the use of this feature by adding voting records to their profile to allow the public to gain a better understanding of decisions made by the councillors.


He also explained the ‘subscribe to updates’ feature of the website. This will allow users to request updates on topics of their choice and which will be circulated to them automatically.


A member asked whether the number of times someone viewed their profile was recorded. The HDS explained that this feature is available from when they began in office.


Another member explained that she did not know a lot of this functionality existed and hoped that a refresher course can be given on the functionality of Modern.Gov.


The HDS acknowledge these proposals and that he would include this topic at a future meeting(s) of the Members ICT Forum.


RESOLVED:    Noted the content of the report



Democratic Services Committee Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 64 KB


The HDS Services submitted a report, which informed the Committee of the proposed items to be considered at its subsequent meetings as part of a future rolling Forward Work Programme (FWP), which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.


He also explained that the calendar of meetings for 2019/20 have been completed with provisional dates of all the meetings including Democratic Services Committee contained therein. The calendar would be sent out soon for members’ approval as part of the reports for the Annual meeting of Council in May.


A member commented that many of them had been struggling to log into different areas of the website, as well as into Modern.Gov, from their portable devices. The HDS suggested that these problems included at the Members ICT Forum and hopefully this would be beneficial for all members to have their ICT concerns addressed.


Modern.Gov training would also be added to the Forward Work Programme in addition to any current training on other initiatives.


RESOLVED:  That the proposed forward work programme be approved subject to the inclusion of an item regarding the Member Referral Review being presented to the Committee on 25 Oct 2018.



Urgent Items

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

accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council 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.