Members noted a new addition to the remit of the Standards Committee – specifically the inclusion of the new legislative requirement to invite Group Leaders to attend the Standards Committee.
Members discussed the proposed questions to put to Group Leaders, which were contained within the circulated report.
How the various political groups utilised the Code of Conduct, within their own standing orders, was discussed, as well as any training that the Group Leaders had received re the new duty, and how it had been received.
The proposed set of questions to put to Group Leaders (contained within the circulated report) was discussed, and Members felt it was more appropriate to ask (at question B) ’How appropriate do you think the Code of Conduct is?’ as opposed to ‘Do you consider that it is still appropriate to have a Code of Conduct in Wales, which applies to all councillors and co-opted members?’
Members suggested adding a sentence on how to rate the effectiveness of any training given, to question H - ‘What are your views on the Authority’s Code of Conduct training? How could it be improved so as to raise the ethical standards of Councillors /Co-opted Members?’
The Monitoring Officer would include all the points above, prior to sending the questions to the Group Leaders.
RESOLVED: That Members extend an invite to Group Leaders of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, to attend a meeting of the Standards Committee, to discuss code of conduct related matters to fulfil the legal obligations under the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021.