Agenda item

Appointments to the Standards Committee


The Monitoring Officer presented a report advising Members that there were vacancies for Independent Members on the Council’s Standards Committee and that appointments were required to fill these vacancies. Also following feedback from a Standards Committee meeting, it was recommended

that a report be brought to Members to confirm the remit of the Committee and the legislative background.


The Monitoring Officer outlined the role and functions of the Committee as set out in the report. Council previously approved the membership of the Committee be increased to 8 members, which added an additional independent Member to the composition. They had recently been notified of the sad passing of Mr Jeff Baker, who was an independent member and more recently, they had received resignations of Mrs Judith Keeley and Mr Cliff Jones, both independent members. The Committee, therefore, had 4 vacancies for independent members.


The Monitoring Officer explained that following a rigorous interview process, the panel recommended the following appointments be approved by Council: Mr Peter Baker, Miss Sue Maughan, Mr Roy Lynch and Mr Shawn Cullen. Cllr Graham Walters sat on the interview panel and he confirmed that these were suitable candidates.


A Member asked if it was correct that only one woman was being appointed and she asked what steps were being taken to attract more women when vacancies arose in future.


The Monitoring Officer replied that initially there had been 3 or 4 applicants but only 1 remained to interview stage as the others had withdrawn from the process. 


The Deputy Leader explained that she was quite concerned that this Committee would be looking at standards across the County Borough for all genders and there was only one female. These appointments were for four years and they needed to encourage a better representation of the residents.


The Monitoring Officer replied that there were regulations they needed to follow when they advertised, and these stated who was eligible and they then placed the appropriate adverts and circulated to other local authorities. They did not get a great response for the four vacancies however she felt that the candidates were more diverse in terms of their age profile, the demographics, their careers and where they lived so there was a better balance now.


A Member concurred with the Deputy Leader and pointed out that in terms of political appointments, that was within the gift of Group Leaders. He added that his group did not have representation on that Committee.


A Member noted that there may be a lack of diversity across the panel makeup and suggested that in future when looking at promoting these opportunities, they also approach organisations such as the Women's Equality Network Wales, Stonewall and the Race Council Cymru to get more diversity.


A member asked Members of the Standards Committee if the people appointed were the best people in their opinion to conduct the role that they were asked to, gender aside. Councillor Walter confirmed that that was the case. There were four candidates that met the criteria out of the people that they interviewed.


Cllr M Williams confirmed that he had to withdraw from the selection process because he had a prejudicial interest but he assured all Members that it was quite a strong first round and whoever emerged from that was going to be good. It was disappointing that the female candidates withdrew for whatever reason and he supported diversity so long as the people were qualified to do the job.


RESOLVED:   Council:


·             Noted the remit of the Standards Committee and the legislative background in which the Committee operated;

·             Appointed the Independent Members outlined at paragraph 3.2 of the report with immediate effect for an initial period of four years;

Noted that the Chairperson would be appointed at the next meeting of the Standards Committee.

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