To consider an application for dispensation.
An application was made by Councillor Carwyn Jones requesting that the Standards Committee should consider granting him a dispensation in relation to prejudicial interests regarding post-16 education provision in Anglesey.
The applicant’s interests relate to his children, who may be impacted by a decision on post-16 education in Anglesey, and his employment as a Lecturer working for Grŵp Llandrillo/Menai, Bangor, a post-16 educational provider.
The Chair welcomed Councillor Jones to the meeting, and gave him an opportunity to present his application.
Councillor Jones reported that he has three children, one of whom is currently in Year 8 in Ysgol David Hughes, Menai Bridge. He stated that it is likely that his other two children will attend this secondary school in due course. It was noted that the outcome of any decision taken regarding the future of post-16 education in Anglesey could affect Councillor Jones’ children and his employer, but not his employment. He does not teach ‘A’ levels but, rather, he teaches business on a vocational course. There is no basis to think this would change.
Councillor Jones reported that he is also a Governor at Ysgol David Hughes. It was noted that he has been appointed in his capacity as an elected Member of the County Council in accordance with Para 10(2)(a)(viii) of the Code of Conduct. It was further noted that an automatic exemption applies in Para 12(2)(a)(iii) of the Code, therefore Councillor Jones does not have a prejudical interest arising from this role. He is also based in Bangor, so any impact on his employment woud be in Llangefni, with a possible transfer of ‘A’ level students.
The Monitoring Officer proposed that the application should be considered primarily in the context of ground (b) - that at least half the Members of the Executive will be considering the business, or have an interest in that business. The Monitoring Officer highlighted that of the 9 Members of the Executive, 6 Members have been granted dispensations, whilst 2 do not have an interest. She stated that Paragraphs (d) or (e) will also be relevant.
Members of the Panel deliberated in private session. Following discussion, the Chair announced that the Standards Committee had RESOLVED to grant a partial dispensation to Councillor Carwyn Jones in respect of those interests referred to in the application, which permits the Councillor to:-
• write to officers [and/the Executive/Committee/Council] about the issue;
• speak to officers of the Council about the issue, provided a note is taken of any such discussions;
• speak at Executive/Committee/Council meetings and answer any questions about the issue;
• remain in the room during any debate/voting on the issue;
• vote at such meetings;
• other: to participate in all external meetings and meetings of any outside bodies in his capacity as an elected Member.
The dispensation is granted on the grounds that at least half the Members of Council’s Executive (i.e. the Leader and the Executive Committee) who will be considering the business, have an interest in that business and that the nature of the interest, given the restriction on voting, will not affect the public’s confidence in the decision/s of the Executive.
• That the Monitoring Officer writes to Councillor Jones confirming that the Standards Committee Panel has granted a partial dispensation permitting
him to write, speak, but not vote on all matters relating to post-16 education provision in Anglesey.
• Councillor Jones must declare a prejudicial interest when attending the Executive and relevant meetings, and state that he has been granted a partial dispensation by the Standards Committee to participate, but not vote on post-16 education matters.