REPORT OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

COUNCIL MEETING 20th FEBRUARY 2019

Review of the Composition of the Council’s Committees and the Appointment of members to serve upon them

 

1.            INTRODUCTION

The Chief Executive received notice from Councillor Rob Evans on the 30th January that he had resigned from the Independent Group on the 29th January 2019 and had joined the Labour Group with effect from that date. In accordance with the requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 , the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) regulations 1990, as amended, and the Local Government Wales (measure) 2011, the Council is required to appoint  members to serve on its committees and to allocate those seats so that they reflect the overall political composition of the Council, as far as possible.

2.            POLITical balance and composition of committees

2.1.       Composition of Committees and Panels of the Council

The membership of the political groups as at 31st January 2019 is as follows :-

           

Political Group

Number of Members

%of Council Membership

Plaid Cymru

37

50

Labour

23

31.08 (29.73)

Independent

13

17.57 (18.92)

Unaffiliated

1

1.35

TOTAL

74

100%

 

Council at its meeting held on the 24th May 2017 decided that the total number of seats available on Committees is 168 and these seats must be distributed amongst the political groups and unaffiliated member on a politically balanced basis with the seats on committees also being allocated to reflect, as far as possible, the political balance of the Council as a whole. 

The Council’s democratic structure comprises:

 

Executive Board

10 members

5 X Scrutiny Committees

68 Members

(Non Executive Board Members)

Regulatory and other Committees

100 Members

 

Note:

·                     Only non Executive Members (64) may serve on the Scrutiny Committees.

·                     The members serving on the Standards Committee do not need to reflect the political balance of the Council as a whole but they have been included within the above figures.

·                     It is not a statutory requirement to ensure that the Audit Committee is politically balanced however the Authority has chosen to include the Audit Committee in its calculations Only one member of the Executive Board can serve on the Audit Committee and this must not be the Leader of the Council.

·                     Only one member of the Executive Board can serve on the Democratic Services Committee and this must not be the Leader of the Council.

 

TABLE 1

 

ALLOCATION OF SEATS ON REGULATORY, SCRUTINY AND OTHER COMMITTEES AND THE pension committee

%

Council member-ship

168

Plaid Cymru

50

84

 

Labour

31.08

52    50

 

Independent

17.57

30    32

 

Unaffiliated Member

1.35

2

TOTAL NO OF SEATS

100%

168

 

Note:

If the allocation of seats on committees is not made on a politically balanced basis then the decision by council to do this must be unanimous  “without any member of the authority or committee voting against them.” S17(b) of the Act.

 


2.2.       Allocation of Seats

In order to reflect Cllr Evans’ resignation from the Independent Group the Independent Group’s representation on Committees will be reduced by 2 seats from 32 to 30, and the Labour Group allocation will rise from 50 to 52.   There is no change to the Plaid Cymru or Unaffiliated member allocation.  To accommodate this change in the political composition of the Council the Independent Group must relinquish one Scrutiny Committee and one regulatory/other seat to the Labour Group

It is suggested that the composition of Committees within the democratic decision making structure be amended as shown in Tables 2 and 3 below  with the Seats allocated, to reflect as far as possible, the political balance of the Council as a whole. Resultant membership changes put forward by the Independent and Labour  Groups are included within this report.

 

 

TABLE 2a -  Scrutiny Committees (68 seats)

 

5 SCRUTINY COMMITTEES

%

 

 

Political Group

 

Number of Seats

68

NEW  Allocation of seats on scrutiny Committees

Plaid Cymru

50

34

1 x 8 seats; 2 X 7 SEATS  & 2 X 6 SEATS

Labour

30

21 (+1) 20

1 x 5 seats and 4 x 4 SEATS

Independent

19

12 (-1) 13

2 x 3 SEATS & 3 x 2 seats

Unaffiliated Member

     1%

1 (0.92)

 

1 SEAT

 

 

 

68

 

 

Following discussion, the Independent Group has agreed to relinquish one seat on the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee (seat previously held by Cllr Rob Evans) and the Labour Group has nominated Councillor Rob Evans to fill its  additional seat on this Committee.

 

It therefore suggested that the allocation of elected member seats on the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee should be amended as follows:-

 

Plaid Cymru (7)  Labour (5 ) Independent (2) Unaffiliated (0)

 


 

TABLE 2b

 

SCRUTINY

COMMITTEE

 

 

 

TOTAL NO OF SEATS

 

 

 

PLAID CYMRU GROUP

 

 

 

LABOUR GROUP

 

 

 

IND GROUP

 

 

 

 

UNAFF

 

 

 

 

Community

13

6

4

3

0

Education & Children

14

+ 5 (co-opted)

7

4

2

1

Environmental & Public Protection

14

8

4

2

0

Policy & Resources

13

6

4

3

0

Social Care & Health

14

7

5

2

0

Total

68

34  

 

21 20

12 13

1

 

TABLE 3 - Regulatory and Other Committees (100 seats)

 

Following discussion, the Independent Group has agreed to relinquish one seat on the Audit Committee (currently held by Councillor Edward Thomas). It therefore suggested that the allocation of elected member seats on the Audit Committee should be amended as follows:-

 

Plaid Cymru (4) Labour (3) Independent (1) Unaffiliated (0) External Voting (1)

 

The Labour Group will announce at the meeting, the Councillor they wish to nominate to fill their additional seat on the Audit Committee.

 

 

COMMITTEE/

PANEL

 

 

 

TOTAL NO OF SEATS

 

 

 

PLAID CYMRU GROUP

 

 

 

LABOUR GROUP

 

 

 

IND GROUP

 

 

 

 

UNAFFIL-IATED

Appeals

6*

 (-1)

3

 

2

 

1

 

0

 

Appointments Directors (Leader + 6 EBM’s + 9 non executive members)

16

8

 

5

 

3

 

0

 

Appointments Heads of Service (4 EBM’s + 6 non-executive members)

10*

(+1)

5

 

3

 

2

 

0

 

Audit

8

4

 

3

 

1

 

0

 

Democratic Services

5

2

 

2

 

1

 

0

 

Housing Review Panel

+1 sub per group

8

(+1)

4

 

2

 

1

 

1

 

Dyfed Pension Fund Committee

+ 1 permanent sub

3

1

 

1

 

1

 

0

 

Licensing

14 *

(-1)

7

 

4

 

3

 

0

 

Members’ Appointments

7 *

 

4

 

2

 

1

 

0

 

Planning

20*

(+1)

10

 

6

 

4

 

0

 

Standards (+ 4 Independent & 1 Community Rep)

3

 

1

 

0

 

0

TOTAL

100

50

3130

18 19

1

 

3.            POLITICAL BALANCE AND Appointment Of Persons To Chair Overview And Scrutiny Committees

Part 6 of the Local Government Wales 2011 Measure deals with sets out the requirements for the appointment of Persons to Chair Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

 

The Measure states that in respect of Council’s with two or more political groups and multiple scrutiny committees the political groups represented in the executive can only appoint as many chairs as are proportionate to their combined share of the council’s overall membership, rounding down if this does not equal a whole number of chairs. It is for the executive groups together to decide upon the allocation of their entitlement to chairs between them. The rest of the Scrutiny Chairs are the “property” of those groups not represented in the Executive. If there is only one such group, that group is entitled to all the remaining Chairs.

 

There is no change to the allocation for the 5 Scrutiny Chairs:-

 

Plaid Cymru and Independent Executive 67.57%         = 3.37 - rounded down to 3.

 

Labour  31.08%                                                                    = 1.55 – rounded up to 2