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Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, Llangefni. View directions
Contact: Shirley Cooke
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest from a Member or Officer regarding any item of business.
Mr John R Jones declared a personal interest in respect of Item 2, as he knew one of the applicants. On the advice of the Monitoring Officer, it was confirmed that, given the nature of the relationship and the context of the application, the interest was not prejudicial.
To consider an application for dispensation.
A collective application for dispensation was sought by the following 8 members of Llaneilian Community Council: Councillors Ian Nicholas Evans, David Gerrard, Dafydd Griffiths, Helen Hughes, Thomas Elfyn Hughes, Glenys Jones, Thomas David Jones and Carol Whitaker. The application relates to prejudicial interests regarding educational provision in the Amlwch area. It was noted that 8 of the 11 Llaneilian Community Council members consider themselves to have a prejudicial interest.
The Panel, through its Chairman, had already agreed to consider an en bloc application by way of a paper exercise only. Neither the Clerk nor the applicants attended the meeting.
The Monitoring Officer reported that, as the context of each application relates to the Schools Modernisation Programme in the Amlwch catchment area, and the relevant statutory ground is the same in each case, all the applications for dispensations are being dealt with collectively.
A statutory formal consultation will begin in April, which will review the future of schools in the primary and secondary sector, including Sir Thomas Jones School in Amlwch. Llaneilian Community Council will be one of the consultees in the statutory consultation process. It was noted that potentially one or more of the schools under consideration may face closure, and as a result there could be an impact on the children in the area and the staff who work in the schools. Following the consultation process, a report will be presented to the Executive for decision.
The Monitoring Officer highlighted that all the applications are different in terms of individual facts, which, with one exception, fall into two categories:
1. the potential impact of school closures/reorganisation on children related/ connected to the applicants; or
2. the potential impact on some of the applicants’ family members who are employed in the schools.
The Monitoring Officer reported that each member of the Community Council has a personal and prejudicial interest, therefore has to declare an interest and leave a meeting during discussion.
The Monitoring Officer advised the Panel to give particular consideration to the seventh applicant on the basis that the circumstances described did not fall into either category 1 or 2 above and, if there is a personal/prejudicial interest, it will be a “wellbeing” interest under the Code by virtue of the applicant’s long period of employment as a teacher in Sir Thomas Jones School.
The Monitoring Officer referred to Paragraph 2(a), (f) and (i) of The Standards Committees (Grant of Dispensations) (Wales) Regulations 2001, and cited the circumstances in which a dispensation may be granted. She highlighted that should the Panel refuse to grant the dispensation, then the Community Council would not be able to participate in discussions and represent the community in the consultation process, as meetings would not be quorate.
The Panel expressed concern that there were gaps in some of the application forms received, and stressed the importance of ensuring that members/applicants are responsible for completing their own applications and should not be depending upon the Clerk to provide the additional information to ... view the full minutes text for item 2.