To consider an application for dispensation.
A collective application for dispensation was made by Councillors Richard Dew, R Meirion Jones, Alun Mummery, R G Parry OBE FRAgS and Robin W Williams (Executive Members), requesting the Standards Committee to consider granting dispensations to overcome prejudicial interests in the County Council’s project for modernising post-16 education provision in the County.
The Dispensation Panel, through its Chairman, had already agreed to consider an en bloc application by way of a paper exercise only.
The Monitoring Officer reported that the Isle of Anglesey County Council as part of its Schools Modernisation Strategy, is consulting about the future of post-16 education. On 28 January 2019 a Standards Panel Hearing was held to consider an application for dispensation from Councillor Llinos M Huws. One of the reasons for that application related to the modernisation project for post-16 education. In that Hearing, the Standards Committee Panel explained that it was of the view that other members of the Executive, both parents and grandparents of children/young people on Anglesey, who may also be affected by decisions regarding post-16 education should apply for dispensation.
The statutory consultation process on post-16 education is likely to begin in the next few months. The consultation will have to be authorised by the Executive and the Executive may be required to make a number of decisions during and after the consultation has concluded.
It was further reported that Councillors R Meirion Jones and Robyn W Williams are Governors at Ysgol David Hughes, Menai Bridge. The two Members have been appointed in the capacity as elected members of the County Council. Their appointment as Governors means that they have a personal interest in accordance with the Code of Conduct (Paragraph 10(2)(a)(viii)). However, there is no need to consider the test in paragraph 12(1) of the Code of Conduct to decide whether the personal interest is also a prejudicial interest as there is an automatic exemption in paragraph 12(2)(a)(iii) of the Code which means that they do not have a prejudicial interest.
The block application has been made primarily on the ground that over half the Members of the Executive (9 in total with 5 having been named in the appended application) have, in the opinion of the Standards Committee Panel, a personal and prejudicial interest.
The Chair noted that, for the purpose of this application, the Panel with therefore consider the family associations of the Applicants only with regard to the post-16 Schools Modernisation Project.
Members of the Panel then deliberated in private session and following discussion, the Chair announced that the Dispensation Panel had RESOLVED:-
• to grant an en bloc dispensation to Councillors Richard A Dew, R Meirion Jones, Alun W Mummery, Bob Parry OBE FRAgS and Robin W Williams for the duration of all matters in respect of the post-16 Schools Modernisation Project or until the end of the term of the current County Council (May 2022 whichever is longer);
• that the Members declare their prejudicial interest , but also the fact that they have been granted a dispensation by the Standards Committee Panel, at every relevant meeting when discussion and/or voting are undertaken as regards the post-16 Schools Modernisation Project.