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Contact: Shirley Cooke
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest from a Member or Officer regarding any item of business.
No declaration of interest was received.
To consider an application for dispensation.
Submitted - an application by Councillor Carwyn Jones for dispensation in relation to the County Council’s strategy for the medium and long-term future of education on the Island.
The Head of Function (Council Business)/Monitoring Officer gave a summary of the background to the application, and reported that the County Council is presently formulating and submitting a plan to Welsh Government on it’s proposals for the modernisation of schools on Anglesey. One of the priority areas to be assessed is the Seiriol ward, which Councillor Jones represents, along with two others members. As a local member, he would be expected to participate fully at a local level in the consultation and decision making process, up to implementation.
It was noted that Councillor Jones has declared three personal interests. He is a Council appointed school governor, and Chair of Llandegfan Primary School, which is one of the three schools under consideration in the Seiriol ward. The other two personal interests are also prejudicial and relate to family members, constituting close personal associates within the definition of the Code of Conduct. Councillor Jones’ first cousin is employed at Beaumaris Primary School, which is also under review in the Seiriol ward. His cousin’s son also attends Llandegfan Primary School.
Councillor Jones acknowledged that those family relationships and connections are close, but that his overriding motivation is for the benefit of the ward, and that he fully intends to act in the wider public interest.
Councillor Jones was afforded the opportunity to address the Panel and gave his views and detailed reasons for his application for dispensation.
In summary, Councillor Jones highlighted the importance of education to the electorate in the ward, and stated that he felt it was his duty as a local member to participate in the process of writing, gathering and sharing information regarding any future proposals for education in the area. He reported that should a dispensation be granted, he would be involved in attending and speaking at public and Town/Community Council meetings to gauge and reflect local opinion, and any decisions taken would have an impact on the education of future generations. He would also be using social media to gather and share information. He stated that he would not seek voting powers, and if the Panel thought it appropriate, he would leave meetings during voting. He further stated that he wished to act as a conduit between his community and the County Council in ensuring that the community voice is heard and given proper consideration in the process/ decisions taken throughout the stages of consultation/implementation etc.
It was noted that Councillor Jones has not expressed his views/opinions to date on the proposals, but has attended meetings at Llangoed, Beaumaris and Llandegfan schools and Community Council meetings to listen to the views of local people. Councillor Jones stated that he has facilitated and shared information, and encouraged people to express their views at this stage in the consultation process, which is non-statutory and will be ending in ... view the full minutes text for item 2.