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Minutes - 2020
Please note that minutes are only available online once they have been signed and agreed correct at the following meeting.
- December 2020
- November 2020
- October 2020
- September 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
Older Minutes (PDF)
View Annual Report (2018)
Annual Report – December 2018
- Contact Details
- Who We Are And The Area We Represent
- What We Do
- Our Funding
- Our Aims
- Appendix A – List of Councillors
- Appendix B - Audited Accounts April 2017 – March 2018
- Clerk: Jane Davies, 14 Blende Road, Llandeilo SA19 6NE
- Tel: 01558 328 264
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.manordeilosalemcc.org.uk
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/manordeiloandsalemcc/
- Instagram: @manordeiloandsalemcc
Who We Are And The Area We Represent
Manordeilo and Salem Community Council covers the two Wards of Cwmifor and Salem and encompasses the surrounding communities of Manordeilo, Rhosmaen, Penybanc, Capel Isaac and Taliaris.
Membership of the Community Council is made up of twelve Councillors: seven representing the Cwmifor Ward and five the Salem Ward. A full list of Councillors and their contact details are available on the Council’s website www.manordeilosalemcc.org.uk and in Appendix A.
Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month (there is no meeting in August) at 7.30pm at the Manordeilo Reading Room at which members of the public are welcome to attend.
We are a member of One Voice Wales, the umbrella organisation for town and community councils across Wales, which provides advice and training on matters related to Council business.
What We Do
Community Councils act as a voice for their local area, representing the views of local people on matters that affect them. The Manordeilo and Salem Community Council exists to represent the community to the Carmarthenshire County Council and other public bodies, and also to facilitate a range of services and activities that promote the wellbeing of residents.
Often the point of contact for local people regarding their concerns, we can either address these issues directly where they fall under our statutory powers and competencies, or we can forward them to the correct department within the County Council. We also work closely with our County Councillor who sits on the Community Council.
Our roles and responsibilities include
- Planning: Community Councils have a statutory right to be consulted on applications for planning permission and the Community Council has a special role, representing a broader, yet still local, view which can be set alongside the comments of those with a more individual interest. Observations are submitted to the Local Planning Authority and these are taken into account in the decision-making process.
- Street Lighting: The Community Council has responsibility for maintaining street lighting and paying the cost of electricity.
- Maintain/purchase benches and notice boards.
- Financial donations: The Community Council receives a large number of requests for financial support during the year and priority is given to charities and organisations based within and bordering the Community Council area or ones that offer services that directly benefit the community. Financial requests are normally considered each February; in exceptional circumstances and where there is a time constraint, applications may be considered at other times.
During the 2017-18 financial year donations were made to the following organisations:
Carmarthen and District Youth Opera, The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, Gwyl Y Goeden Salem, Y Lloffwr, Cruse Bereavement Care, Urdd Gobaith Cymru Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire Federation of Young Farmer’s Clubs, Macmillan Cancer Support , Cancer Information and Support Services, Llandeilo Young Farmers Club, Cylch Meithrin Ffairfach, Tenovus Cancer Care, Children’s Wales Air Ambulance and Llandeilo and District Sports Association.
Footpaths: in liaison with the County Council.
Website, Facebook and Instagram: The Council has set up its own website (www.manordeilosalemcc.org.uk) which provides information about the Council, events, surveys and consultations that affect local people as well as useful links to services. We were also one of the first community councils in Wales to establish Facebook (www.facebook.com/manordeiloandsalemcc) and Instagram (@manordeiloandsalemcc) pages in an attempt to engage with a wider audience and especially the younger generation.
Provision of defibrillators: Our successful grant application in 2017 enabled us to provide units outside Salem Village Hall, Manordeilo Reading Room, Capel Isaac Vestry and at the rear of The Plough Inn Rhosmaen. In response to a request from the community for an additional unit at Beechwood, we supported a community campaign that included a fund raising event at Salem, donations from local businesses and a contribution from the Community Council itself. This was an excellent example of working in partnership for the general wellbeing of the community. In conjunction with the provision of these units, a series of training sessions have been delivered across the community council area in basic first aid training and defibrillator use, which we will continue to support in the future.
Engaging with other public bodies/organisations: As a member of One Voice Wales, we are represented on the Mid Wales Area Committee and regularly attend training and consultation events. Through these events we learn best practice ways of working in the sector and contribute to the development of local governance across Wales. We also routinely contribute to the Carmarthenshire Liaison Forum, which includes representatives from town and community councils across the county, as well as councillors and officers from the County Council and One Voice Wales. This is an especially influential forum in contributing to the setting of budget priorities for the County Council. Finally, we are one of just three rural community councils represented on the Key Stakeholder Forum for the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan, which gives us an important voice within the development planning process.
Support Salem Village Hall and Manordeilo Reading Room: We have recently supported these valuable community institutions with grant funding for a new kitchen, the purchase of a keyboard and in the running of whist drives and other social events.
FundingThe Council derives most of its funds from its Precept. This is an additional sum that is added to the County Council tax bill based upon the Community Council’s estimated expenditure. The precept figure for the financial year April 2018 to March 2019 is £15,000. The Council’s audited accounts for the financial year ending 31st March 2018 can be found on the Council’s website and in Appendix B.
We aim to be proactive in consulting and engaging with local residents in order to effectively represent our community. To this end, we have set up our website on which we publish our agendas, minutes and accounts and share information on other social media platforms. We will continue to develop these channels of communication and engagement in an attempt to encourage more awareness of the work of the Council and to encourage greater participation by all age groups within our communities. The production of this report is also a further tool to inform and engage with local people.
We aim to provide more defibrillators across our community and provide training sessions to local residents on their use.
We aim to develop the existing positive working partnership with the local authority, neighbouring town and community councils and other agencies for the mutual benefit of our communities.
We aim to encourage and facilitate more coming together of the communities within our area for the mutual benefit of all.
- Gwenfyl Evans
- Croesnant, Capel Isaac, Llandeilo SA19 7ES
- 01558 85322
- Peter Harries
- Crud Yr Awel, Salem, Llandeilo SA19 7LY
- 01558 823075
- Doris Jones
- Maesteilo Farm, Capel Isaac, Llandeilo SA19 7TG
- 01558 68826
- Owen Williams
- Maesydderwen, 1 Golwg y Gaer, Salem, Llandeilo SA19 7PA
- 01558 822061
- Alun Davies
- Trefwri, Rhosmaen, Llandeilo SA19 7AF
- 01558 823954
- Arwel Davies
- Erwlon, Manordeilo, Llandeilo, SA19 7BG
- 01550 777571
- Kimberley Davies
- Glanrhyd Station House, Manordeilo, Llandeilo, SA19 7BR
- 01550 777930
- Joseph Davies (County Cllr)
- 5 Ger Y Llan, Cwmifor, Llandeilo SA19 7AW
- 01558 822167
- Hubert Gwynne
- Coedmawr, Manordeilo, Llandeilo SA19 7BS
- 01558 822219
- William Loynton
- 7 Caledfwlch, Cwmifor, Llandeilo SA19 7BT
- 01558 823627
- Andrew Thomas
- Nantwgan, Brynwgan Farm, Llandeilo, SA19 7LE
- 01558 822449
Audited Accounts For Financial Year Ending 31st March 2018
- 26/04/17 - C.C.C. Precept 1
- 25/08/17 - C.C.C. Precept 2
- 27/12/17 - C.C.C. Precept 3
- TOTAL INCOME
- Bank Balance b/f 31st March 2017
- Income plus bank balance b/f as at 31st March 2017
- Less cheques not presented: 1212 for £100.00
- Sub Total
- Staff Costs
- General Administration
- Chairperson's Allowance
- Footpaths, Notice Boards, Monument
- Footway Lighting-energy and maintenance
- Translation Services
- TOTAL EXPENDITURE
- Income minus expenditure
- Bank Statement as at 31st March 2018
- Less Cheques not presented: 1247-£50.00,1257-£100.00
- Closing Balance 31st March 2018
Payments to Elected Members
|Year||Councillor Name||Chair’s Allowance||Travel &|
|2019/20||Cllr Owen Williams||£220.00||£150.00||£370.00|
|2018/19||Cllr. Alun Davies||£220.00||£220.00|
|2017/18||Cllr. Gwenfyl Evans||£220.00||£220.00|
|2016/17||Cllr. Joseph Davies||£220.00||£220.00|
|2015/16||Cllr. Peter Harries||£200.00||£200.00|
|Cllr. Owen Williams||£25.20||£25.20|
In accordance with Section 151 of the Local Government Measure 2011, Community and Town Councils must publish within their authority area the remuneration received by their members by 30th September following the end of the previous financial year. This information should also be sent to the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales by the same date. Nil returns are also required.Please refer to Annex 4 of the Panel’s annual report for details.
CYNGOR CYMUNED MANORDEILO A SALEM
MANORDEILO AND SALEM COMMUNITY COUNCIL
STANDING ORDERS REVISED NOVEMBER 2018 and ADOPTED DECEMBER 2018
- Disorderly Conduct At Meetings
- Meetings Generally
- Committees and Sub-Committees
- Ordinary Council Meetings
- Extraordinary Meetings Of The Council
- Voting On Appointments
- Management Of Information
- Draft Minutes
- Code Of Conduct And Dispensations
- Code Of Conduct Complaints
- Proper Officer
- Responsible Financial Officer
- Accounts And Accounting Statements
- Financial Controls And Procurement
- Responsibilities To Provide Information
- Responsibilities Under Data Protection Legislation
- Relations With The Press/Media
- Execution And Sealing Of Legal Deeds
- Communicating With County Council Councillors
- Restrictions On Councillor Activities
- Standing Orders Generallying Orders Generally
These model standing orders update the National Association of Local Council’s (NALC) model standing orders contained in “Local Councils Explained” by Meera Tharmarajah (© 2013 NALC). This publication contains new model standing orders which reference new legislation introduced after 2013 when the last model standing orders were published.
1. Disorderly Conduct At Meetings
- No person shall obstruct the transaction of business at a meeting or behave offensively or improperly. If this standing order is ignored, the chairman of the meeting shall request such person(s) to moderate or improve their conduct.
- If person(s) disregard the request of the chairman of the meeting to moderate or improve their conduct, any councillor or the chairman of the meeting may move that the person be no longer heard or be excluded from the meeting. The motion, if seconded, shall be put to the vote without discussion.
- If a resolution made under standing order 2(b) is ignored, the chairman of the meeting may take further reasonable steps to restore order or to progress the meeting. This may include temporarily suspending or closing the meeting.
2. Meetings Generally
- Meetings shall not take place in premises which at the time of the meeting are used for the supply of alcohol, unless no other premises are available free of charge or at a reasonable cost.
- The minimum three clear days for notice of a meeting does not include the day on which notice was issued, the day of the meeting, a Sunday, a day of the Christmas break, a day of the Easter break or of a bank holiday or a day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.
- The minimum three clear days’ public notice for a meeting does not include the day on which the notice was issued or the day of the meeting unless the meeting is convened at shorter notice.
- Meetings shall be open to the public unless their presence is prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted or for other special reasons. The public’s exclusion from part or all of a meeting shall be by a resolution which shall give reasons for the public’s exclusion.
- Members of the public may make representations, answer questions and give evidence at a meeting which they are entitled to attend in respect of the business on the agenda.
- The period of time designated for public participation at a meeting in accordance with standing order 3(e) shall not exceed 30 minutes unless directed by the chairman of the meeting.
- Subject to standing order 3(f), a member of the public shall not speak for more than 5 minutes.
- In accordance with standing order 3(e), a question shall not require a response at the meeting nor start a debate on the question. The chairman of the meeting may direct that a written or oral response be given.
- A person who speaks at a meeting shall direct his comments to the chairman of the meeting.
- Only one person is permitted to speak at a time. If more than one person wants to speak, the chairman of the meeting shall direct the order of speaking.
- Photographing, recording, broadcasting or transmitting the proceedings of a meeting by any means is not permitted without the Council’s prior written consent.
- The press shall be provided with reasonable facilities for the taking of their report of all or part of a meeting at which they are entitled to be present.
- Subject to standing orders which indicate otherwise, anything authorised or required to be done by, to or before the Chairman of the Council may in his absence be done by, to or before the Vice-Chairman of the Council.
- The Chairman of the Council, if present, shall preside at a meeting. If the Chairman is absent from a meeting, the Vice-Chairman of the Council, if present, shall preside. If both the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman are absent from a meeting, a councillor as chosen by the councillors present at the meeting shall preside at the meeting.
- Subject to a meeting being quorate, all questions at a meeting shall be decided by a majority of the councillors and non-councillors with voting rights present and voting.
- The chairman of a meeting may give an original vote on any matter put to the vote, and in the case of an equality of votes may exercise his casting vote whether or not he gave an original vote.
See standing orders 4(h) and (i) for the different rules that apply in the election of the Chairman of the Council at the annual meeting of the Council.
- Unless standing orders provide otherwise, voting on a question shall be by a show of hands. At the request of a councillor, the voting on any question shall be recorded so as to show whether each councillor present and voting gave his vote for or against that question. Such a request shall be made before moving on to the next item of business on the agenda.
- The minutes of a meeting shall include an accurate record of the following:
- the time and place of the meeting;
- the names of councillors who are present and the names of councillors who are absent;
- interests that have been declared by councillors and non-councillors with voting rights;
- the grant of dispensations (if any) to councillors and non-councillors with voting rights;
- hether a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights left the meeting when matters that they held interests in were being considered;
- if there was a public participation session; and
- the resolutions made.
- A councillor or a non-councillor with voting rights who has a personal or prejudicial interest in a matter being considered at a meeting which limits or restricts his right to participate in a discussion or vote on that matter is subject to obligations in the code of conduct adopted by the Council.
- No business may be transacted at a meeting unless at least four members of the Council are present.
- If a meeting is or becomes inquorate no business shall be transacted and the meeting shall be closed. The business on the agenda for the meeting shall be adjourned to another meeting.
3. Committees and Sub-Committees
- Unless the Council determines otherwise, a committee may appoint a sub-committee whose terms of reference and members shall be determined by the committee.
- The members of a committee may include non-councillors unless it is a committee which regulates and controls the finances of the Council.
- Unless the Council determines otherwise, all the members of an advisory committee and a sub-committee of the advisory committee may be non-councillors.
4. Ordinary Council Meetings
- In an election year, the annual meeting of the Council shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the councillors elected take office.
- In a year which is not an election year, the annual meeting of the Council shall be held on such day in May as the Council decides.
- If no other time is fixed, the annual meeting of the Council shall take place at 6pm.
- In addition to the annual meeting of the Council, any number of other ordinary meetings may be held in each year on such dates and times as the Council decides.
- The first business conducted at the annual meeting of the Council shall be the election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council.
- The Chairman of the Council, unless he has resigned or becomes disqualified, shall continue in office and preside at the annual meeting until his successor is elected at the next annual meeting of the Council.
- The Vice-Chairman of the Council, unless he resigns or becomes disqualified, shall hold office until immediately after the election of the Chairman of the Council at the next annual meeting of the Council.
- In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has not been re-elected as a member of the Council, he shall preside at the annual meeting until a successor Chairman of the Council has been elected. The current Chairman of the Council shall not have an original vote in respect of the election of the new Chairman of the Council but shall give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
- In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has been re-elected as a member of the Council, he shall preside at the annual meeting until a new Chairman of the Council has been elected. He may exercise an original vote in respect of the election of the new Chairman of the Council and shall give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
- Following the election of the Chairman of the Council and Vice-Chairman of the Council at the annual meeting, the business shall include:
- In an election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council and councillors of their acceptance of office forms unless the Council resolves for this to be done at a later date. In a year which is not an election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council of his acceptance of office form unless the Council resolves for this to be done at a later date;
- Confirmation of the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting of the Council;
- Receipt of the minutes of the last meeting of a committee;
- Consideration of the recommendations made by a committee;
- Review of delegation arrangements to committees, sub-committees, staff and other local authorities;
- Review of the terms of reference for committees;
- Appointment of members to existing committees;
- Appointment of any new committees in accordance with standing order 3;
- Review and adoption of appropriate standing orders and financial regulations;
- Review of arrangements (including legal agreements) with other local authorities, not-for-profit bodies and businesses;
- Review of representation on or work with external bodies and arrangements for reporting back;
- Review of inventory of land and other assets including buildings and office equipment;
- Confirmation of arrangements for insurance cover in respect of all insurable risks;
- Review of the Council’s and/or staff subscriptions to other bodies;
- Review of the Council’s complaints procedure;
- Review of the Council’s policies, procedures and practices in respect of its obligations under freedom of information and data protection legislation (see also standing orders 7, 15 and 16);
- Review of the Council’s policy for dealing with the press/media;
- Review of the Council’s employment policies and procedures;
- Review of the Council’s expenditure incurred under s.137 of the Local Government Act 1972 or the power of well-being.
- Determining the time and place of ordinary meetings of the Council up to and including the next annual meeting of the Council.
5. Extraordinary Meetings Of The Council
- The Chairman of the Council may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council at any time.
- If the Chairman of the Council does not call an extraordinary meeting of the Council within seven days of having been requested in writing to do so by two councillors, any two councillors may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council. The public notice giving the time, place and agenda for such a meeting shall be signed by the two councillors.
6. Voting On Appointments
- Where more than two persons have been nominated for a position to be filled by the Council and none of those persons has received an absolute majority of votes in their favour, the name of the person having the least number of votes shall be struck off the list and a fresh vote taken. This process shall continue until a majority of votes is given in favour of one person. A tie in votes may be settled by the casting vote exercisable by the chairman of the meeting.
7. Management Of Information
See also standing order 15.
- The Council shall have in place and keep under review, technical and organisational measures to keep secure information (including personal data) which it holds in paper and electronic form. Such arrangements shall include deciding who has access to personal data and encryption of personal data.
- he Council shall have in place, and keep under review, policies for the retention and safe destruction of all information (including personal data) which it holds in paper and electronic form. The Council’s retention policy shall confirm the period for which information (including personal data) shall be retained or if this is not possible the criteria used to determine that period (e.g. the Limitation Act 1980).
- The agenda, papers that support the agenda and the minutes of a meeting shall not disclose or otherwise undermine confidential information or personal data without legal justification.
- Councillors, staff, the Council’s contractors and agents shall not disclose confidential information or personal data without legal justification.
8. Draft Minutes
- If the draft minutes of a preceding meeting have been served on councillors with the agenda to attend the meeting at which they are due to be approved for accuracy, they shall be taken as read.
- b There shall be no discussion about the draft minutes of a preceding meeting except in relation to their accuracy. A motion to correct an inaccuracy in the draft minutes shall be moved.
- c The accuracy of draft minutes, including any amendment(s) made to them, shall be confirmed by resolution and shall be signed by the chairman of the meeting and stand as an accurate record of the meeting to which the minutes relate.
- d If the chairman of the meeting does not consider the minutes to be an accurate record of the meeting to which they relate, he shall sign the minutes and include a paragraph in the following terms or to the same effect:
- “The chairman of this meeting does not believe that the minutes of the meeting of the ( ) held on [date] in respect of ( ) were a correct record but his view was not upheld by the meeting and the minutes are confirmed as an accurate record of the proceedings.”
- e Subject to standing order 15(a) and following a resolution which confirms the accuracy of the minutes of a meeting, the draft minutes or recordings of the meeting for which approved minutes exist shall be destroyed.
9. Code Of Conduct And Dispensations
See also standing order 2(s).
- Councillors and non-councillors with voting rights shall observe the code of conduct adopted by the Council.
- All councillors and non-councillors with voting rights shall undertake training in the code of conduct within six months of the delivery of their acceptance of office form.
- Dispensation requests shall be in writing and submitted to the standards committee of the County Council as soon as possible before the meeting that the dispensation is required for.
10. Code Of Conduct Complaints
- Complaints that could be dealt with in-house were of a very restricted nature and would be referred in the first instance to the Clerk who would, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, decide on whether they should be dealt with in-house or referred on.
- Upon notification by the County Council that it is dealing with a complaint that a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights has breached the Council’s code of conduct, the Proper Officer shall, subject to standing order 7, report this to the Council.
- Where the notification in standing order 10(a) relates to a complaint made by the Proper Officer, the Proper Officer shall notify the Chairman of Council of this fact, and the Chairman shall nominate another staff member to assume the duties of the Proper Officer in relation to the complaint until it has been determined.
- The Council may:
- provide information or evidence where such disclosure is necessary to investigate the complaint or is a legal requirement;
- seek information relevant to the complaint from the person or body with statutory responsibility for investigation of the matter;
- indemnify the councillor or non-councillor with voting rights in respect of his related legal costs and any such indemnity is subject to approval by a meeting of the Council.
11. Proper Officer
- The Proper Officer shall be either (i) the clerk or (ii) other staff member(s) nominated by the Council to undertake the work of the Proper Officer when the Proper Officer is absent.
- The Proper Officer shall:
- at least three clear days before a meeting of the council, a committee or a sub-committee:
- serve on councillors by delivery or post at their residences a signed summons confirming the time, place and the agenda; and
- provide, in a conspicuous place, public notice of the time, place and agenda (provided that the public notice with agenda of an extraordinary meeting of the Council convened by councillors is signed by them)and publish electronically notice of the time and place and, as far as reasonably practicable, any documents relating to the business to be transacted at the meeting unless they relate to business which is likely to be considered in private or if their disclosure would be contrary to any enactment.
See standing order 2(b) for the meaning of clear days for a meeting of a full council and standing order 2(c) for the meaning of clear days for a meeting of a committee;
- convene a meeting of Council for the election of a new Chairman of the Council, occasioned by a casual vacancy in his office;
- facilitate inspection of the minute book by local government electors;
- receive and retain copies of byelaws made by other local authorities;
- hold acceptance of office forms from councillors;
- hold a copy of every councillor’s register of interests;
- assist with responding to requests made under freedom of information legislation and rights exercisable under data protection legislation, in accordance with the Council’s relevant policies and procedures;
- receive and send general correspondence and notices on behalf of the Council except where there is a resolution to the contrary;
- assist inthe organisation of, storage of, access to, security of and destruction of information held by the Council in paper and electronic forms ubject to the requirements of freedom of information and data protection legislation and other legitimate requirements (e.g. the Limitation Act 1980);
- arrange for legal deeds to be executed;
See also standing order 18;
- arrange or manage the prompt authorisation, approval, and instruction regarding any payments to be made by the Council in accordance with its financial regulations;
- record every planning application notified to the Council and the Council’s response to the local planning authority in a book for such purpose;
- refer a planning application received by the Council to the Chairman or in his absence the Vice-Chairman of the Council within two working days of receipt to facilitate an extraordinary meeting if the nature of a planning application requires consideration before the next ordinary meeting of the Council;
- at least three clear days before a meeting of the council, a committee or a sub-committee:
12. Responsible Financial Officer
- The Council shall appoint appropriate staff member(s)to undertake the work of the Responsible Financial Officer when the Responsible Financial Officer is absent.
13. Accounts And Accounting Statements
- “Proper practices” in standing orders refer to the most recent version of “Governance and Accountability for Local Councils in Wales – A Practitioners’ Guide”.
- All payments by the Council shall be authorised, approved and paid in accordance with the law, proper practices and the Council’s financial regulations.
- The Responsible Financial Officer shall supply to each councillor as soon as practicable after 30 June, 30 September and 31 December in each year a statement to summarise:
- the Council’s receipts and payments (or income and expenditure) for each quarter;
- the Council’s aggregate receipts and payments (or income and expenditure) for the year to date;
- the balances held at the end of the quarter being reported and
which includes a comparison with the budget for the financial year and highlights any actual or potential overspends.
- As soon as possible after the financial year end at 31 March, the Responsible Financial Officer shall provide:
- each councillor with a statement summarising the Council’s receipts and payments (or income and expenditure) for the last quarter and the year to date for information; and
- to the Council the accounting statements for the year in the form of Section 1 of the annual governance and accountability return, as required by proper practices, for consideration and approval.
- The year-end accounting statements shall be prepared in accordance with proper practices and apply the form of accounts determined by the Council (receipts and payments or income and expenditure) for the year to 31 March. A completed draft annual governance and accountability return shall be presented to all councillors at least 14 days prior to anticipated approval by the Council. The annual governance and accountability return of the Council, which is subject to external audit, including the annual governance statement, shall be presented to the Council for consideration and formal approval before 30 June.
14. Financial Controls And Procurement
- The Council shall consider and approve financial regulations drawn up by the Responsible Financial Officer, which shall include detailed arrangements in respect of the following:
- the keeping of accounting records and systems of internal controls;
- the assessment and management of financial risks faced by the Council;
- the work of the independent internal auditor in accordance with proper practices and the receipt of regular reports from the internal auditor, which shall be required at least annually;
- the inspection and copying by councillors and local electors of the Council’s accounts and/or orders of payments; and
- subject to standing orders 14(e) and (f) whether contracts with an estimated value below £1,000 or due to special circumstances are exempt from a tendering process or procurement exercise .
- Financial regulations shall be reviewed regularly and at least annually for fitness of purpose.
- Subject to additional requirements in the financial regulations of the Council, the tender process for contracts for the supply of goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall include, as a minimum, the following steps:
- a specification for the goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall be drawn up;
- an invitation to tender shall be drawn up to confirm (i) the Council’s specification (ii) the time, date and address for the submission of tenders (iii) the date of the Council’s written response to the tender and (iv) the prohibition on prospective contractors contacting councillors or staff to encourage or support their tender outside the prescribed process;
- the invitation to tender shall be advertised in a local newspaper and in any other manner that is appropriate;
- tenders are to be submitted in writing in a sealed marked envelope addressed to the Proper Officer;
- tenders shall be opened by the Proper Officer in the presence of at least one councillor after the deadline for submission of tenders has passed;
- tenders are to be reported to and considered by the appropriate meeting of the Council or a committee or sub-committee with delegated responsibility.
- Neither the Council, nor a committee or a sub-committee with delegated responsibility for considering tenders, is bound to accept the lowest value tender.
- A public contract regulated by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 with an estimated value in excess of £181,302 for a public service or supply contractor in excess of £4,551,413 for a public works contract (or other thresholds determined by the European Commission every two years and published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)shall comply with the relevant procurement procedures and other requirements in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 which include advertising the contract opportunity on the Contracts Finder website and in OJEU.
- A public contract in connection with the supply of gas, heat, electricity, drinking water, transport services, or postal services to the public; or the provision of a port or airport; or the exploration for or extraction of gas, oil or solid fuel with an estimated value in excess of £363,424 for a supply, services or design contract; or in excess of £4,551,413for a works contract; or £820,370 for a social and other specific services contract (or other thresholds determined by the European Commission every two years and published in OJEU) shall comply with the relevant procurement procedures and other requirements in the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016.
15. Responsibilities To Provide Information
See also standing order 16.
- In accordance with freedom of information legislation, the Council shall publish information in accordance with its publication scheme and respond to requests for information held by the Council.
16. Responsibilities Under Data Protection Legislation
(Below is not an exclusive list).
See also standing order 7.
- The Council may appoint a Data Protection Officer.
- The Council shall have policies and procedures in place to respond to an individual exercising statutory rights concerning his personal data.
- The Council shall have a written policy in place for responding to and managing a personal data breach.
- The Council shall keep a record of all personal data breaches comprising the facts relating to the personal data breach, its effects and the remedial action taken.
- The Council shall ensure that information communicated in its privacy notice(s) is in an easily accessible and available form and kept up to date.
- The Council shall maintain a written record of its processing activities.
17. Relations With The Press/Media
- Requests from the press or other media for an oral or written comment or statement from the Council, its councillors or staff shall be handled in accordance with the Council’s policy in respect of dealing with the press and/or other media.
18. Execution And Sealing Of Legal Deeds
Any two councillors may sign, on behalf of the Council, any deed required by law and the Proper Officer shall witness their signatures.
19. Communicating With County Council Councillors
- An invitation to attend a meeting of the Council shall be sent, together with the agenda, to the ward councillor(s) of the County Council representing the area of the Council.
20. Restrictions On Councillor Activities
- Unless duly authorised no councillor shall:
- inspect any land and/or premises which the Council has a right or duty to inspect; or
- issue orders, instructions or directions.
21. Standing Orders Generally
- All or part of a standing order, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory or legal requirements, may be suspended by resolution in relation to the consideration of an item on the agenda for a meeting.
- A motion to add to or vary or revoke one or more of the Council’s standing orders, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory or legal requirements, shall be proposed by a special motion, the written notice by at least five councillors to be given to the Proper Officer.
- The Proper Officer shall provide a copy of the Council’s standing orders to a councillor as soon as possible.
- The decision of the chairman of a meeting as to the application of standing orders at the meeting shall be final.
View Code of Conduct
MANORDEILO AND SALEM COMMUNITY COUNCIL CODE OF CONDUCT
PART 1 —INTERPRETATION
1.—(1) In this code —
"co-opted member" ("aelod cyfetholedig"), in relation to a relevant authority, means a person who is not amember of the authority but who —
- is a member of any committee or sub-committee of the authority, or
- is a member of, and represents the authority on, any joint committee or joint sub-committee of theauthority,and who is entitled to vote on any question which falls to be decided at any meeting of that committee or subcommittee;
"meeting" ("cyfarfod") means any meeting —
- of the relevant authority,
- of any executive or board of the relevant authority,
- of any committee, sub-committee, joint committee or joint sub-committee of the relevant authority or ofany such committee, sub-committee, joint committee or joint sub-committee of any executive or board ofthe authority, or
- where members or officers of the relevant authority are present other than a meeting of a political groupconstituted in accordance with regulation 8 of the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups)Regulations 1990, and includes circumstances in which a member of an executive or board or an officer acting alone exercises afunction of an authority;
"member" ("aelod") includes, unless the context requires otherwise, a co-opted member;
“registered society” means a society, other than a society registered as a credit union, which is—
- a registered society within the meaning given by section 1(1) of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014; or
- a society registered or deemed to be registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 1969;
“register of members’ interests” (“cofrestr o fuddiannau’r aelodau”) means the register established and maintained under section 81 of the Local Government Act 2000;
"relevant authority" ("awdurdod perthnasol") means—
- a county council,
- a county borough council,
- a community council,
- a fire and rescue authority constituted by a scheme under section 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act2004 or a scheme to which section 4 of that Act applies,
- a National Park authority established under section 63 of the Environment Act 1995;
"you" ("chi") means you as a member or co-opted member of a relevant authority; and
"your authority" ("eich awdurdod") means the relevant authority of which you are a member or co-optedmember.
(2) In relation to a community council—
- “proper officer” (“swyddog priodol”) means an officer of that council within the meaning of section 270(3) of the Local Government Act 1972; and
- “standards committee” (“pwyllgor safonau”) means the standards committee of the county or county borough council which has functions in relation to the community council for which it is responsible under section 56(1) and (2) of the Local Government Act 2000.
PART 2—GENERAL PROVISIONS
2.—(1) Save where paragraph 3(a) applies, you must observe this code of conduct —
- whenever you conduct the business, or are present at a meeting, of your authority;
- whenever you act, claim to act or give the impression you are acting in the role of member to which youwere elected or appointed;
- whenever you act, claim to act or give the impression you are acting as a representative of your authority; or
- at all times and in any capacity, in respect of conduct identified in paragraphs 6(1)(a) and 7.
(2) You should read this code together with the general principles prescribed under section 49(2) of the LocalGovernment Act 2000 in relation to Wales.
3. Where you are elected, appointed or nominated by your authority to serve —
- on another relevant authority, or any other body, which includes a Local Health Boardyou must, when acting for that other authority or body, comply with the code of conduct of that otherauthority or body; or
- on any other body which does not have a code relating to the conduct of its members, you must, whenacting for that other body, comply with this code of conduct, except and insofar as it conflicts with anyother lawful obligations to which that other body may be subject.
4. You must —
- carry out your duties and responsibilities with due regard to the principle that there should be equality ofopportunity for all people, regardless of their gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, age or religion;
- show respect and consideration for others;
- not use bullying behaviour or harass any person; and
- not do anything which compromises, or which is likely to compromise, the impartiality of those who workfor, or on behalf of, your authority.
5. You must not —
- (a) disclose confidential information or information which should reasonably be regarded as being of aconfidential nature, without the express consent of a person authorised to give such consent, or unlessrequired by law to do so;
- (b) prevent any person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law.
6.—(1) You must —
- not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authorityinto disrepute;
- report, whether through your authority's confidential reporting procedure or direct to the proper authority,any conduct by another member or anyone who works for, or on behalf of, your authority which youreasonably believe involves or is likely to involve criminal behaviour (which for the purposes of thisparagraph does not include offences or behaviour capable of punishment by way of a fixed penalty);
- report to your authority's monitoring officer any conductby another member which you reasonably believe breaches this code of conduct;
- not make vexatious, malicious or frivolous complaints against other members or anyone who works for, oron behalf of, your authority.
(2) You must comply with any request of your authority's monitoring officer, or the Public Services Ombudsmanfor Wales, in connection with an investigation conducted in accordance with their respective statutory powers.
7. You must not —
- in your official capacity or otherwise, use or attempt to use your position improperly to confer on or securefor yourself, or any other person, an advantage or create or avoid for yourself, or any other person, adisadvantage;
- use, or authorise others to use, the resources of your authority —
- in breach of your authority's requirements;
- other than in a manner which is calculated to facilitate, or to be conducive to, the discharge of thefunctions of the authority or of the office to which you have been elected or appointed;
- improperly for political purposes; or
- improperly for private purposes.
8. You must —
- when participating in meetings or reaching decisions regarding the business of your authority, do so on the basis of the merits of the circumstances involved and in the public interest having regard to any relevantadvice provided by your authority's officers, in particular by —
- the authority's head of paid service;
- the authority's chief finance officer;
- the authority's monitoring officer;
- the authority's chief legal officer (who should be consulted when there is any doubt as to the authority's power to act, as to whether the action proposed lies within the policy framework agreed by theauthority or where the legal consequences of action or failure to act by the authority might haveimportant repercussions);
- give reasons for all decisions in accordance with any statutory requirements and any reasonable additionalrequirements imposed by your authority.
9. You must —
- observe the law and your authority's rules governing the claiming of expenses and allowances inconnection with your duties as a member;
- avoid accepting from anyone gifts, hospitality (other than official hospitality, such as a civic reception ora working lunch duly authorised by your authority), material benefits or services for yourself or any personwhich might place you, or reasonably appear to place you, under an improper obligation.
10.—(1) You must in all matters consider whether you have a personal interest, and whether this code of conductrequires you to disclose that interest.
(2) You must regard yourself as having a personal interest in any business of your authority if —
(a) it relates to, or is likely to affect —
(i) any employment or business carried on by you;
(ii) any person who employs or has appointed you, any firm in which you are a partner or any companyfor which you are a remunerated director;
(iii) any person, other than your authority, who has made a payment to you in respect of your election or any expenses incurred by you in carrying out your duties as a member;
(iv) any corporate body which has a place of business or land in your authority's area, and in which you have a beneficial interest in a class of securities of that body that exceeds the nominal value of £25,000or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body;
(v) any contract for goods, services or works made between your authority and you or a firm in which you are a partner, a company of which you are a remunerated director, or a body of the description specifiedin sub-paragraph (iv) above;
(vi) any land in which you have a beneficial interest and which is in the area of your authority;
(vii) any land where the landlord is your authority and the tenant is a firm in which you are a partner, acompany of which you are a remunerated director, or a body of the description specified in subparagraph(iv) above;
(viii) any body to which you have been elected, appointed or nominated by your authority;
(ix) any —
(aa)public authority or body exercising functions of a public nature;
(bb)company, registered society, charity, or body directed to charitable purposes;
(cc)body whose principal purposes include the influence of public opinion or policy;
(dd) trade union or professional association; or
(ee) private club, society or association operating within your authority's area, in which you have membership or hold a position of general control or management;
(x) any land in your authority's area in which you have a licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupyfor 28 days or longer;
[Note: subparagraph (b) is omitted.]
(c) a decision upon it might reasonably be regarded as affecting —
(i) your well-being or financial position, or that of a person with whom you live, or any person with whomyou have a close personal association;
(ii) any employment or business carried on by persons as described in 10(2)(c)(i);
(iii) any person who employs or has appointed such persons described in 10(2)(c)(i), any firm in which theyare a partner, or any company of which they are directors;
(iv) any corporate body in which persons as described in 10(2)(c)(i) have a beneficial interest in a class ofsecurities exceeding the nominal value of £5,000; or
(v) any body listed in paragraphs 10(2)(a)(ix)(aa) to (ee) in which persons described in 10(2)(c)(i) hold aposition of general control or management,
to a greater extent than the majority of—
(aa)in the case of an authority with electoral divisions or wards, other council tax payers, rate payers orinhabitants of the electoral division or ward, as the case may be, affected by the decision; or
(bb) in all other cases, other council tax payers, ratepayers or inhabitants of the authority's area.
Disclosure of Personal Interests
11.—(1) Where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority and you attend a meeting at which that business is considered, you must disclose orally to that meeting the existence and nature of that interest beforeor at the commencement of that consideration, or when the interest becomes apparent.
(2) Where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority and you make —
(a) written representations (whether by letter, facsimile or some other form of electronic communication) to amember or officer of your authority regarding that business, you should include details of that interest inthe written communication; or
(b) oral representations (whether in person or some form of electronic communication) to a member or officerof your authority you should disclose the interest at the commencement of such representations, or whenit becomes apparent to you that you have such an interest, and confirm the representation and interest inwriting within 14 days of the representation.
(3) Subject to paragraph 14(1)(b) below, where you have a personal interest in any business of your authorityand you have made a decision in exercising a function of an executive or board, you must in relation to thatbusiness ensure that any written statement of that decision records the existence and nature of your interest.
(4) You must, in respect of a personal interest not previously disclosed, before or immediately after the closeof a meeting where the disclosure is made pursuant to sub-paragraph 11(1), give written notification to yourauthority in accordance with any requirements identified by your authority's monitoring officer, or in relation to a community council, your authority’s proper officer from time totime but, as a minimum containing —
(a) details of the personal interest;
(b) details of the business to which the personal interest relates; and
(c) your signature.
(5) Where you have agreement from your monitoring officer that the information relating to your personalinterest is sensitive information, pursuant to paragraph 16(1), your obligations under this paragraph 11 to disclosesuch information, whether orally or in writing, are to be replaced with an obligation to disclose the existence of apersonal interest and to confirm that your monitoring officer has agreed that the nature of such personal interest issensitive information.
(6) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (4), a personal interest will only be deemed to have been previouslydisclosed if written notification has been provided in accordance with this code since the last date on which youwere elected, appointed or nominated as a member of your authority.
(7) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (3), where no written notice is provided in accordance with that paragraphyou will be deemed as not to have declared a personal interest in accordance with this code.
12.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2) below, where you have a personal interest in any business of yourauthority you also have a prejudicial interest in that business if the interest is one which a member of the publicwith knowledge of the relevant facts would reasonably regard as so significant that it is likely to prejudice yourjudgement of the public interest.
(2) Subject to sub-paragraph (3), you will not be regarded as having a prejudicial interest in any business wherethat business—
(a) relates to —
(i) another relevant authority of which you are also a member;
(ii) another public authority or body exercising functions of a public nature in which you hold a positionof general control or management;
(iii) a body to which you have been elected, appointed or nominated by your authority;
(iv) your role as a school governor (where not appointed or nominated by your authority) unless it relatesparticularly to the school of which you are a governor;
(v) your role as a member of a Local Health Board where you have not been appointed or nominated byyour authority;
(b) relates to —
(i) the housing functions of your authority where you hold a tenancy or lease with your authority, providedthat you do not have arrears of rent with your authority of more than two months, and provided thatthose functions do not relate particularly to your tenancy or lease;
(ii) the functions of your authority in respect of school meals, transport and travelling expenses, where youare a guardian, parent, grandparent or have parental responsibility (as defined in section 3 of theChildren Act 1989) of a child in full time education, unless it relates particularly to the school whichthat child attends;
(iii) the functions of your authority in respect of statutory sick pay under Part XI of the Social SecurityContributions and Benefits Act 1992, where you are in receipt of, or are entitled to the receipt of suchpay from your authority;
(iv) the functions of your authority in respect of an allowance or payment made in accordance with the provisions of Part 8 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011, or an allowance or pension provided under section 18 of theLocal Government and Housing Act 1989;
(c) your role as a community councillor in relation to a grant, loan or other form of financial assistance madeby your community council to community or voluntary organisations up to a maximum of £500.
(3) The exemptions in subparagraph (2)(a) do not apply where the business relates to the determination of anyapproval, consent, licence, permission or registration.
Overview and Scrutiny Committees
13. You also have a prejudicial interest in any business before an overview and scrutiny committee of yourauthority (or of a sub-committee of such a committee) where—
(a) that business relates to a decision made (whether implemented or not) or action taken by your authority'sexecutive, board or another of your authority's committees, sub-committees, joint committees or joint subcommittees;and
(b) at the time the decision was made or action was taken, you were a member of the executive, board,committee, sub-committee, joint-committee or joint sub-committee mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) andyou were present when that decision was made or action was taken.
Participation in Relation to Disclosed Interests
14.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2), (2A), (3) and (4), where you have a prejudicial interest in any business of yourauthority you must, unless you have obtained a dispensation from your authority's standards committee —
(a) withdraw from the room, chamber or place where a meeting considering the business is being held—
(i) where sub-paragraph (2) applies, immediately after the period for making representations, answeringquestions or giving evidence relating to the business has ended and in any event before furtherconsideration of the business begins, whether or not the public are allowed to remain in attendance forsuch consideration; or
(ii) in any other case, whenever it becomes apparent that that business is being considered at that meeting;
(b) not exercise executive or board functions in relation to that business;
(c) not seek to influence a decision about that business;
(d) not make any written representations (whether by letter, facsimile or some other form of electroniccommunication) in relation to that business; and
(e) not make any oral representations (whether in person or some form of electronic communication) inrespect of that business or immediately cease to make such oral representations when the prejudicialinterest becomes apparent.
(2) Where you have a prejudicial interest in any business of your authority you may attend a meeting but onlyfor the purpose of making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the business,provided that the public are also allowed to attend the meeting for the same purpose, whether under a statutoryright or otherwise.
(2A) Where you have a prejudicial interest in any business of your authority you may submit written representations to a meeting relating to that business, provided that the public are allowed to attend the meeting for the purpose of making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the business, whether under statutory right or otherwise.
(2B) When submitting written representations under sub-paragraph (2A) you must comply with any procedure that your authority may adopt for the submission of such representations.
(3) Sub-paragraph (1) does not prevent you attending and participating in a meeting if —
(a) you are required to attend a meeting of an overview or scrutiny committee, by such committee exercisingits statutory powers; or
(b) you have the benefit of a dispensation provided that you —
(i) state at the meeting that you are relying on the dispensation; and
(ii) before or immediately after the close of the meeting give written notification to your authority containing —
(aa) details of the prejudicial interest;
(bb) details of the business to which the prejudicial interest relates;
(cc) details of, and the date on which, the dispensation was granted; and
(dd) your signature.
(4) Where you have a prejudicial interest and are making written or oral representations to your authority inreliance upon a dispensation, you must provide details of the dispensation within any such written or oralrepresentation and, in the latter case, provide written notification to your authority within 14 days of making therepresentation.
PART 4—THE REGISTER OF MEMBERS' INTERESTS
Registration of Personal Interests
15.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (4), you must, within 28 days of—
- (a) your authority's code of conduct being adopted or the mandatory provisions of this model code being applied to your authority; or
- (b) your election or appointment to office (if that is later), register your personal interests, where they fall within a category mentioned in paragraph10(2)(a), in your authority's register of members’ interests by providing written notification to your authority's monitoring officer.
(2) Subject to sub-paragraph (4), you must, within 28 days of becoming aware of any new personal interest falling within a category mentioned in paragraph 10(2)(a), register that new personal interest in your authority’s register of members’ interests by providing written notification to your authority’s monitoring officer.
(3) Subject to sub-paragraph (4), you must, within 28 days of becoming aware of any change to a registered personal interest falling within a category mentioned in paragraph 10(2)(a), register that change in your authority’s register of members’ interests by providing written notification to your authority's monitoring officer, or in the case of a community council to your authority’s proper officer.
(4) Sub-paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) do not apply to sensitive information determined in accordance with paragraph16(1).
(5) Sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply if you are a member of a relevant authority which is a community council when you act in your capacity as a member of such an authority.
(6) You must, when disclosing a personal interest in accordance with paragraph 11 for the first time, register that personal interest in your authority’s register of members’ interests by providing written notification to your authority’s monitoring officer, or in the case of a community council to your authority’s proper officer.
16.—(1) Where you consider that the information relating to any of your personal interests is sensitiveinformation, and your authority's monitoring officer agrees, you need not include that information whenregistering that interest, or, as the case may be, a change to the interest under paragraph 15.
(2) You must, within 28 days of becoming aware of any change of circumstances which means that informationexcluded under sub-paragraph (1) is no longer sensitive information, notify your authority's monitoring officer, or in relation to a community council, your authority’s proper officerasking that the information be included in your authority's register of members' interests.
(3) In this code, "sensitive information" ("gwybodaeth sensitif") means information whose availability forinspection by the public creates, or is likely to create, a serious risk that you or a person who lives with you maybe subjected to violence or intimidation.
Registration of Gifts and Hospitality
17. You must, within 28 days of receiving any gift, hospitality, material benefit or advantage above a valuespecified in a resolution of your authority, provide written notification to your authority's monitoring officer, or in relation to a community council, to your authority’s proper officer of theexistence and nature of that gift, hospitality, material benefit or advantage.
Adopted on the 11th May 2016 (Agenda Item11)
Signed and dated by the Chairperson, Councillor Peter Harries.
Declaration of Interests
View donations policy
The Community Council receives a large number of requests for financial support during the year and priority is given to charities and organisations based within and bordering the Community Council area or ones that offer services that directly benefit the community.
Financial requests are normally considered each February; in exceptional circumstances and where there is a time constraint, applications may be considered at other times.
The Community Council has given financial donations to the following organisations during the 2017-18 financial year:
Carmarthen and District Youth Opera, The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, Gwyl Y Goeden Salem, Y Lloffwr, Cruse Bereavement Care, Urdd Gobaith Cymru Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire Federation of Young Farmer’s Clubs, Macmillan Cancer Support , Cancer Information and Support Services, Llandeilo Young Farmers Club, Cylch Meithrin Ffairfach, Tenovus Cancer Care, Children’s Wales Air Ambulance and Llandeilo and District Sports Association.
View Financial Regulations
FINANCIAL REGULATIONS 2019
- ACCOUNTING AND AUDIT (INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL)
- ANNUAL ESTIMATES (BUDGET) AND FORWARD PLANNING
- BUDGETARY CONTROL AND AUTHORITY TO SPEND
- BANKING ARRANGEMENTS AND AUTHORISATION OF PAYMENTS
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE MAKING OF PAYMENTS
- PAYMENT OF SALARIES
- LOANS AND INVESTMENTS
- ORDERS FOR WORK, GOODS AND SERVICES
- PAYMENTS UNDER CONTRACTS FOR BUILDING OR OTHER CONSTRUCTION WORKS
- ASSETS, PROPERTIES AND ESTATES
- RISK MANAGEMENT
- SUSPENSION AND REVISION OF FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
These Financial Regulations were adopted by the Council at its Meeting held on the 9th October 2019
1.1. These financial regulations govern the conduct of financial management by the Council and may only be amended or varied by resolution of the Council. Financial regulations are one of the Council’s three governing policy documents providing procedural guidance for members and officers. Financial regulations must be observed in conjunction with the Council’s standing orders1 and any individual financial regulations relating to contracts.
1.2. The Council is responsible in law for ensuring that its financial management is adequate and effective and that the Council has a sound system of internal control which facilitates the effective exercise of the Council’s functions, including arrangements for the management of risk.
1.3. The Council’s accounting control systems must include measures:
- for the timely production of accounts;
- that provide for the safe and efficient safeguarding of public money;
- to prevent and detect inaccuracy and fraud; and
- identifying the duties of officers.
1.4. These financial regulations demonstrate how the Council meets these responsibilities and requirements.
1.5. At least once a year, prior to approving the Annual Governance Statement, the Council must review the effectiveness of its system of internal control which shall be in accordance with proper practices.
1.6. Deliberate or wilful breach of these Regulations by an employee may give rise to disciplinary proceedings.
1.7. Members of Council are expected to follow the instructions within these Regulations and not to entice employees to breach them. Failure to follow instructions within these Regulations brings the office of Councillor into disrepute and may represent a breach in the Councillor’s Code of Conduct
1.8. The Clerk has been appointed as RFO for this Council and these regulations will apply accordingly.
1.9. The RFO;
- acts under the policy direction of the Council;
- administers the Council's financial affairs in accordance with all Acts, Regulations and proper practices;
- determines on behalf of the Council its accounting records and accounting control systems;
- ensures the accounting control systems are observed;
- maintains the accounting records of the Council up to date in accordance with proper practices;
- assists the Council to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of its resources; and
- produces financial management information as required by the Council.
1.10. The accounting records determined by the RFO shall be sufficient to show and explain the Council’s transactions and to enable the RFO to ensure that any income and expenditure account and statement of balances, or record of receipts and payments comply with the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations and to prepare additional or management information, as the case may be, to be prepared for the Council from time to time.
1.11. The accounting records determined by the RFO shall in particular contain:
- entries from day to day of all sums of money received and expended by the Council and the matters to which the income and expenditure or receipts and payments account relate;
- a record of the assets and liabilities of the Council; and
- wherever relevant, a record of the Council’s income and expenditure in relation to claims made, or to be made, for any contribution, grant or subsidy.
1.12. The accounting control systems determined by the RFO shall include:
- procedures to ensure that the financial transactions of the Council are recorded as soon as reasonably practicable and as accurately and reasonably as possible;
- procedures to enable the prevention and detection of inaccuracies and fraud and the ability to reconstruct any lost records;
- identification of the duties of officers dealing with financial transactions and division of responsibilities of those officers in relation to significant transactions;
- procedures to ensure that uncollectable amounts, including any bad debts are not submitted to the Council for approval to be written off except with the approval of the RFO and that the approvals are shown in the accounting records; and
- measures to ensure that risk is properly managed.
1.13. The Council is not empowered by these Regulations or otherwise to delegate certain specified decisions. In particular any decision regarding:
- setting the final budget or the precept (Council Tax Requirement);
- approving accounting statements;
- approving an annual governance statement;
- writing off bad debts;
- addressing recommendations in any report from the internal or external auditors, shall be a matter for the full Council only.
1.14. In addition, the Council must:
- determine and keep under regular review the bank mandate for all Council bank accounts;
- approve any grant or a single commitment in excess of £5,000; and
- in respect of the annual salary for any employee have regard to recommendations about annual salaries of employees made by the relevant committee in accordance with its terms of reference.
1.15. In these financial regulations, references to the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations or ‘the regulations’ shall mean the regulations issued under the provisions of section 39 of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004, or any superseding legislation, and then in force unless otherwise specified.
In these financial regulations the term ‘proper practice’ or ‘proper practices’ shall refer to guidance issued in Governance and Accountability for Local Councils in Wales - A Practitioners’ Guide issued by the Joint Practitioners Advisory Group (JPAG), available from the websites of One Voice Wales (OVW) and SLCC as appropriate.
2. ACCOUNTING AND AUDIT (INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL)
2.1. All accounting procedures and financial records of the Council shall be determined by the RFO in accordance with the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations, appropriate guidance and proper practices.
2.2. On a regular basis, at least once in each quarter, and at each financial year end, a member other than the Chairman [or a cheque signatory] shall be appointed to verify bank reconciliations (for all accounts) produced by the RFO. The member shall sign the reconciliations and the original bank statements (or similar document) as evidence of verification. This activity shall on conclusion be reported, including any exceptions, to and noted by the Council .
2.3. The RFO shall complete the annual statement of accounts, annual report, and any related documents of the Council contained in the Annual Return (as specified in proper practices) as soon as practicable after the end of the financial year and having certified the accounts shall submit them and report thereon to the Council within the timescales set by the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations.
2.4. The Council shall ensure that there is an adequate and effective system of internal audit of its accounting records, and of its system of internal control in accordance with proper practices. Any officer or member of the Council shall make available such documents and records as appear to the Council to be necessary for the purpose of the audit and shall, as directed by the Council, supply the RFO, internal auditor, or external auditor with such information and explanation as the Council considers necessary for that purpose.
2.5. The internal auditor shall be appointed by and shall carry out the work in relation to internal controls required by the Council in accordance with proper practices.
2.6. The internal auditor shall:
- be competent and independent of the financial operations of the Council;
- report to Council in writing, or in person, on a regular basis with a minimum of one annual written report during each financial year;
- to demonstrate competence, objectivity and independence, be free from any actual or perceived conflicts of interest, including those arising from family relationships; and
- have no involvement in the financial decision making, management or control of the Council.
2.7. Internal or external auditors may not under any circumstances:
- perform any operational duties for the Council;
- initiate or approve accounting transactions; or
- direct the activities of any Council employee, except to the extent that such employees have been appropriately assigned to assist the internal auditor.
2.8. For the avoidance of doubt, in relation to internal audit the terms ‘independent’ and ‘independence’ shall have the same meaning as is described in proper practices.
2.9. The RFO shall make arrangements for the exercise of electors’ rights in relation to the accounts including the opportunity to inspect the accounts, books, and vouchers and display or publish any notices and statements of account required by Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004, or any superseding legislation, and the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations.
2.10. The RFO shall, without undue delay, bring to the attention of all Councillors any correspondence or report from internal or external auditors.
3. ANNUAL ESTIMATES (BUDGET) AND FORWARD PLANNING
3.1. The RFO must each year, by no later than January, prepare detailed estimates of all receipts and payments including the use of reserves and all sources of funding for the following financial year in the form of a budget to be considered by the Council.
3.2. The Council shall consider annual budget proposals in relation to the Council’s three year forecast of revenue and capital receipts and payments including recommendations for the use of reserves and sources of funding and update the forecast accordingly.
3.3. The Council shall fix the precept (Council tax requirement), and relevant basic amount of Council tax to be levied for the ensuing financial year not later than by the end of January each year. The RFO shall issue the precept to the billing authority and shall supply each member with a copy of the approved annual budget.
3.4. The approved annual budget shall form the basis of financial control for the ensuing year.
4. BUDGETARY CONTROL AND AUTHORITY TO SPEND
4.1. All expenditure on revenue items will be authorised by the Council.
4.2. No expenditure may be authorised that will exceed the amount provided in the revenue budget for that class of expenditure other than by resolution of the Council, or duly delegated committee. During the budget year and with the approval of Council having considered fully the implications for public services, unspent and available amounts may be moved to other budget headings or to an earmarked reserve as appropriate (‘virement’).
4.3. Unspent provisions in the revenue or capital budgets for completed projects shall not be carried forward to a subsequent year.
4.4. The salary budgets are to be reviewed at least annually in May for the following financial year and such review shall be evidenced by a hard copy schedule signed by the Clerk and the Chairman of Council or relevant committee. The RFO will inform committees of any changes impacting on their budget requirement for the coming year in good time.
4.5. In cases of extreme risk to the delivery of Council services, the clerk may authorise revenue expenditure on behalf of the Council which in the clerk’s judgement it is necessary to carry out. Such expenditure includes repair, replacement or other work, whether or not there is any budgetary provision for the expenditure, subject to a limit of £500. The Clerk shall report such action to the chairman as soon as possible and to the Council as soon as practicable thereafter.
4.6. No expenditure shall be authorised in relation to any capital project and no contract entered into or tender accepted involving capital expenditure unless the Council is satisfied that the necessary funds are available and the requisite borrowing approval has been obtained.
4.7. All capital works shall be administered in accordance with the Council's standing orders and financial regulations relating to contracts.
4.8. The RFO shall regularly provide the Council with a statement of receipts and payments to date under each head of the budgets, comparing actual expenditure to the appropriate date against that planned as shown in the budget. These statements are to be prepared at least at the end of each financial quarter and shall show explanations of material variances. For this purpose, “material” shall be in excess of 15% of the budget.
4.9. Changes in earmarked reserves shall be approved by Council as part of the budgetary control process.
5. BANKING ARRANGEMENTS AND AUTHORISATION OF PAYMENTS
5.1. The Council's banking arrangements, including the bank mandate, shall be made by the RFO and approved by the Council; banking arrangements may not be delegated to a committee. They shall be regularly reviewed for safety and efficiency.
5.2. The RFO shall prepare a schedule of payments requiring authorisation, forming part of the Agenda for the Meeting and, together with the relevant invoices, present the schedule to Council. The Council shall review the schedule for compliance and, having satisfied itself shall authorise payment by a resolution of the Council. The approved schedule shall be ruled off and initialled by the Chairman of the Meeting. A detailed list of all payments shall be disclosed within or as an attachment to the minutes of the meeting at which payment was authorised. Personal payments (including salaries, wages, expenses and any payment made in relation to the termination of a contract of employment) may be summarised to remove public access to any personal information.
5.3. All invoices for payment shall be examined, verified and certified by the RFO to confirm that the work, goods or services to which each invoice relates has been received, carried out, examined and represents expenditure previously approved by the Council.
5.4. The RFO shall examine invoices for arithmetical accuracy and analyse them to the appropriate expenditure heading. The RFO shall take all steps to pay all invoices submitted, and which are in order, at the next available Council meeting.
5.5. The Clerk/RFO shall have delegated authority to authorise the payment of items only in the following circumstances:
- If a payment is necessary to avoid a charge to interest under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, and the due date for payment is before the next scheduled Meeting of Council, where the Clerk and RFO certify that there is no dispute or other reason to delay payment, provided that a list of such payments shall be submitted to the next appropriate meeting of Council;
- An expenditure item authorised under 5.6 below (continuing contracts and obligations) provided that a list of such payments shall be submitted to the next appropriate meeting of Council; or
- fund transfers within the Councils banking arrangements up to the sum of £10,000, provided that a list of such payments shall be submitted to the next appropriate meeting of Council.
5.6. For each financial year the Clerk/RFO shall draw up a list of due payments which arise on a regular basis as the result of a continuing contract, statutory duty, or obligation (such as but not exclusively, Salaries, PAYE and NI, Superannuation Fund and regular maintenance contracts and the like for which Council may authorise payment for the year provided that the requirements of regulation 4.1 (Budgetary Controls) are adhered to, provided also that a list of such payments shall be submitted to the next appropriate meeting of Council.
5.7. A record of regular payments made under 5.6 above shall be drawn up and be signed by two members on each and every occasion when payment is authorised - thus controlling the risk of duplicated payments being authorised and / or made.
5.8. In respect of grants a duly authorised committee shall approve expenditure within any limits set by Council and in accordance with any policy statement approved by Council. Any Revenue or Capital Grant in excess of £5,000 shall before payment, be subject to ratification by resolution of the Council.
5.9. Members are subject to the Code of Conduct that has been adopted by the Council and shall comply with the Code and Standing Orders when a decision to authorise or instruct payment is made in respect of a matter in which they have a disclosable or other interest, unless a dispensation has been granted.
5.10. The Council will aim to rotate the duties of members in these Regulations so that onerous duties are shared out as evenly as possible over time.
5.11. Any changes in the recorded details of suppliers, such as bank account records, shall be approved in writing by a Member.
6. INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE MAKING OF PAYMENTS
6.1. The Council will make safe and efficient arrangements for the making of its payments.
6.2. Following authorisation under Financial Regulation 5 above, the Council, a duly delegated committee or, if so delegated, the Clerk or RFO shall give instruction that a payment shall be made.
6.3. All payments shall be effected by cheque or other instructions to the Council's bankers, or otherwise, in accordance with a resolution of Council.
6.4. Cheques or orders for payment drawn on the bank account in accordance with the schedule as presented to Council or committee shall be signed by two members of Council and countersigned by the Clerk, in accordance with a resolution instructing that payment. A member who is a bank signatory, having a connection by virtue of family or business relationships with the beneficiary of a payment, should not, under normal circumstances, be a signatory to the payment in question.
6.5. To indicate agreement of the details shown on the cheque or order for payment with the counterfoil and the invoice or similar documentation, the signatories shall each also initial the cheque counterfoil.
6.6. Cheques or orders for payment shall not normally be presented for signature other than at a Council or committee meeting (including immediately before or after such a meeting). Any signatures obtained away from such meetings shall be reported to the Council at the next convenient meeting.
6.7. If thought appropriate by the Council, payment for utility supplies (energy, telephone and water) and any National Non-Domestic Rates may be made by variable direct debit provided that the instructions are signed by two members and any payments are reported to Council as made. The approval of the use of a variable direct debit shall be renewed by resolution of the Council at least every two years.
6.8. If thought appropriate by the Council, payment for certain items (principally salaries) may be made by banker’s standing order provided that the instructions are signed, or otherwise evidenced by two members are retained and any payments are reported to Council as made. The approval of the use of a banker’s standing order shall be renewed by resolution of the Council at least every two years.
6.9. If thought appropriate by the Council, payment for certain items may be made by BACS or CHAPS methods provided that the instructions for each payment are signed, or otherwise evidenced, by two authorised bank signatories are retained and any payments are reported to Council as made. The approval of the use of BACS or CHAPS shall be renewed by resolution of the Council at least every two years.
6.10. If thought appropriate by the Council payment for certain items may be made by internet banking transfer provided evidence is retained showing which members approved the payment.
6.11. Where a computer requires use of a personal identification number (PIN) or other password(s), for access to the Council’s records on that computer, a note shall be made of the PIN and Passwords and shall be handed to and retained by the Chairman of Council in a sealed dated envelope. This envelope may not be opened other than in the presence of two other Councillors. After the envelope has been opened, in any circumstances, the PIN and / or passwords shall be changed as soon as practicable. The fact that the sealed envelope has been opened, in whatever circumstances, shall be reported to all members immediately and formally to the next available meeting of the Council. This will not be required for a member’s personal computer used only for remote authorisation of bank payments.
6.12. No employee or Councillor shall disclose any PIN or password, relevant to the working of the Council or its bank accounts, to any person not authorised in writing by the Council or a duly delegated committee.
6.13. Regular back-up copies of the records on any computer shall be made and shall be stored securely away from the computer in question, and preferably off site.
6.14. The Council, and any members using computers for the Council’s financial business, shall ensure that anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall, software with automatic updates, together with a high level of security, is used.
6.15. Where internet banking arrangements are made with any bank, the Clerk/RFO shall be appointed as the Service Administrator. The bank mandate approved by the Council shall identify a number of Councillors who will be authorised to approve transactions on those accounts. The bank mandate will state clearly the amounts of payments that can be instructed by the use of the Service Administrator alone, or by the Service Administrator with a stated number of approvals.
6.16. Access to any internet banking accounts will be directly to the access page (which may be saved under “favourites”), and not through a search engine or e-mail link. Remembered or saved passwords facilities must not be used on any computer used for Council banking work. Breach of this Regulation will be treated as a very serious matter under these regulations.
6.17. Changes to account details for suppliers, which are used for internet banking may only be changed on written hard copy notification by the supplier and supported by hard copy authority for change signed by the Clerk and a member. A programme of regular checks of standing data with suppliers will be followed.
6.18. Any Debit Card issued for use will be specifically restricted to the Clerk and will also be restricted to a single transaction maximum value of £100 unless authorised by Council in writing before any order is placed.
6.19. A pre-paid debit card may be issued to employees with varying limits. These limits will be set by the Council. Transactions and purchases made will be reported to the Council and authority for topping-up shall be at the discretion of the Council.
6.20. Any corporate credit card or trade card account opened by the Council will be specifically restricted to use by the Clerk and shall be subject to automatic payment in full at each month-end. Personal credit or debit cards of members or staff shall not be used under any circumstances.
6.21. The Council will not maintain any form of cash float. All cash received must be banked intact. Any payments made in cash by the Clerk (for example for postage or minor stationery items) shall be refunded on a regular basis, at least quarterly.
7. PAYMENT OF SALARIES
7.1. As an employer, the Council shall make arrangements to meet fully the statutory requirements placed on all employers by PAYE and National Insurance legislation. The payment of all salaries shall be made in accordance with payroll records and the rules of PAYE and National Insurance currently operating, and salary rates shall be as agreed by Council, or duly delegated committee.
7.2. Payment of salaries and payment of deductions from salary such as may be required to be made for tax, national insurance and pension contributions, or similar statutory or discretionary deductions must be made in accordance with the payroll records and on the appropriate dates stipulated in employment contracts, provided that each payment is reported to the next available Council meeting, as set out in these regulations above.
7.3. No changes shall be made to any employee’s pay, emoluments, or terms and conditions of employment without the prior consent of the Council.
7.4. Each and every payment to employees of net salary and to the appropriate creditor of the statutory and discretionary deductions shall be recorded in a separate confidential record (confidential cash book). This confidential record is not open to inspection or review (under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or otherwise) other than:
- by any Councillor who can demonstrate a need to know;
- by the internal auditor;
- by the external auditor; or
- by any person authorised under Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004, or any superseding legislation.
7.5. The total of such payments in each calendar month shall be reported with all other payments as made as may be required under these Financial Regulations, to ensure that only payments due for the period have actually been paid.
7.6. An effective system of personal performance management should be maintained for the senior officers.
7.7. Any termination payments shall be supported by a clear business case and reported to the Council. Termination payments shall only be authorised by Council.
7.8. Before employing interim staff, the Council must consider a full business case.
8. LOANS AND INVESTMENTS
8.1. All borrowings shall be effected in the name of the Council, after obtaining any necessary borrowing approval. Any application for borrowing approval shall be approved by Council as to terms and purpose. The application for borrowing approval, and subsequent arrangements for the loan shall only be approved by full Council.
8.2. Any financial arrangement which does not require formal borrowing approval from the Welsh Government (such as Hire Purchase or Leasing of tangible assets) shall be subject to approval by the full Council. In each case a report in writing shall be provided to Council in respect of value for money for the proposed transaction.
8.3. The Council will arrange with the Council’s banks and investment providers for the sending of a copy of each statement of account to the Chairman of the Council at the same time as one is issued to the Clerk/RFO.
8.4. All loans and investments shall be negotiated in the name of the Council and shall be for a set period in accordance with Council policy.
8.5. The Council shall consider the need for an Investment Strategy and Policy which, if drawn up, shall be in accordance with relevant regulations, proper practices and guidance. Any Strategy and Policy shall be reviewed by the Council at least annually.
8.6. All investments of money under the control of the Council shall be in the name of the Council.
8.7. All investment certificates and other documents relating thereto shall be retained in the custody of the RFO.
8.8. Payments in respect of short term or long term investments, including transfers between bank accounts held in the same bank, or branch, shall be made in accordance with Regulation 5 (Authorisation of payments) and Regulation 6 (Instructions for payments).
9.1. The collection of all sums due to the Council shall be the responsibility of and under the supervision of the RFO.
9.2. Particulars of all charges to be made for work done, services rendered, or goods supplied shall be agreed annually by the Council, notified to the RFO and the RFO shall be responsible for the collection of all accounts due to the Council.
9.3. The Council will review all fees and charges at least annually, following a report of the Clerk.
9.4. Any sums found to be irrecoverable and any bad debts shall be reported to the Council and shall be written off in the year.
9.5. All sums received on behalf of the Council shall be banked intact as directed by the RFO. In all cases, all receipts shall be deposited with the Council's bankers with such frequency as the RFO considers necessary.
9.6. The origin of each receipt shall be entered on the paying-in slip.
9.7. Personal cheques shall not be cashed out of money held on behalf of the Council.
9.8. The RFO shall promptly complete any VAT Return that is required. Any repayment claim due in accordance with VAT Act 1994 section 33 shall be made at least annually coinciding with the financial year end.
9.9. Where any significant sums of cash are regularly received by the Council, the RFO shall take such steps as are agreed by the Council to ensure that more than one person is present when the cash is counted in the first instance, that there is a reconciliation to some form of control such as ticket issues, and that appropriate care is taken in the security and safety of individuals banking such cash.
9.10. Any income arising which is the property of a charitable trust shall be paid into a charitable bank account. Instructions for the payment of funds due from the charitable trust to the Council (to meet expenditure already incurred by the authority) will be given by the Managing Trustees of the charity meeting separately from any Council meeting (see also Regulation 16 below)].
10. ORDERS FOR WORK, GOODS AND SERVICES
10.1. An official order or letter shall be issued for all work, goods and services unless a formal contract is to be prepared or an official order would be inappropriate. Copies of orders shall be retained.
10.2. Order books shall be controlled by the RFO.
10.3. All members and officers are responsible for obtaining value for money at all times. An officer issuing an official order shall ensure as far as reasonable and practicable that the best available terms are obtained in respect of each transaction, usually by obtaining three or more quotations or estimates from appropriate suppliers, subject to any de minimis provisions in Regulation 11.1 below.
10.4. A member may not issue an official order or make any contract on behalf of the Council.
10.5. The RFO shall verify the lawful nature of any proposed purchase before the issue of any order, and in the case of new or infrequent purchases or payments, the RFO shall ensure that the statutory authority shall be reported to the meeting at which the order is approved so that the minutes can record the power being used.
11.1. Procedures as to contracts are laid down as follows:
- Every contract shall comply with these financial regulations, and no exceptions shall be made otherwise than in an emergency provided that this regulation need not apply to contracts which relate to items (i) to (vi) below:
- for the supply of gas, electricity, water, sewerage and telephone services;
- for specialist services such as are provided by legal professionals acting in disputes;
- for work to be executed or goods or materials to be supplied which consist of repairs to or parts for existing machinery or equipment or plant;
- for work to be executed or goods or materials to be supplied which constitute an extension of an existing contract by the Council;
- for goods or materials proposed to be purchased which are proprietary articles and / or are only sold at a fixed price.
- The full requirements of The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (“the Regulations”), as applicable, shall be followed in respect of the tendering and award of a public supply contract, public service contract or public works contract which exceed thresholds in The Regulations set by the Public Contracts Directive 2014/24/EU (which may change from time to time)2.
- When applications are made to waive financial regulations relating to contracts to enable a price to be negotiated without competition the reason shall be embodied in a recommendation to the Council.
- Such invitation to tender shall state the general nature of the intended contract and the Clerk shall obtain the necessary technical assistance to prepare a specification in appropriate cases. The invitation shall in addition state that tenders must be addressed to the Clerk in the ordinary course of post. Each tendering firm shall be supplied with a specifically marked envelope in which the tender is to be sealed and remain sealed until the prescribed date for opening tenders for that contract.
- All sealed tenders shall be opened at the same time on the prescribed date by the Clerk in the presence of at least one member of Council.
- Any invitation to tender issued under this regulation shall be subject to Standing Orders 13, 3 and shall refer to the terms of the Bribery Act 2010.
- When it is to enter into a contract of less than £25,0004 in value for the supply of goods or materials or for the execution of works or specialist services other than such goods, materials, works or specialist services as are excepted as set out in paragraph (a) the Clerk or RFO shall obtain 3 quotations (priced descriptions of the proposed supply); where the value is below £3,000 and above £100 the Clerk or RFO shall strive to obtain 3 estimates. Otherwise, Regulation 10.3 above shall apply.
- The Council shall not be obliged to accept the lowest or any tender, quote or estimate.
- Should it occur that the Council, or duly delegated committee, does not accept any tender, quote or estimate, the work is not allocated and the Council requires further pricing, provided that the specification does not change, no person shall be permitted to submit a later tender, estimate or quote who was present when the original decision making process was being undertaken.
11.2. The Proper Officer shall maintain a register of personal interests, in respect of both members and senior staff.
- a. Members and senior staff should not, so far as is practicable, be involved in the award of orders and/or contracts with organisations or individuals in respect of which a personal interest exists, whether declared or not.
- b. Members and senior staff should not, so far as is practicable, be involved in the making or authorising payments in respect of orders and/or contracts with organisations or individuals in respect of which a personal interest exists, whether declared or not.
12. PAYMENTS UNDER CONTRACTS FOR BUILDING OR OTHER CONSTRUCTION WORKS
12.1. Payments on account of the contract sum shall be made within the time specified in the contract by the RFO upon authorised certificates of the architect or other consultants engaged to supervise the contract (subject to any percentage withholding as may be agreed in the particular contract).
12.2. Where contracts provide for payment by instalments the RFO shall maintain a record of all such payments. In any case where it is estimated that the total cost of work carried out under a contract, excluding agreed variations, will exceed the contract sum of 5% or more a report shall be submitted to the Council.
12.3. Any variation to a contract or addition to or omission from a contract must be approved by the Council and Clerk to the contractor in writing, the Council being informed where the final cost is likely to exceed the financial provision.
13. ASSETS, PROPERTIES AND ESTATES
13.1. The Clerk shall make appropriate arrangements for the custody of all title deeds and Land Registry Certificates of properties held by the Council. The RFO shall ensure a record is maintained of all properties held by the Council, recording the location, extent, plan, reference, purchase details, nature of the interest, tenancies granted, rents payable and purpose for which held in accordance with Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations.
13.2. No tangible moveable property shall be purchased or otherwise acquired, sold, leased or otherwise disposed of, without the authority of the Council, together with any other consents required by law, save where the estimated value of any one item of tangible movable property does not exceed £250.
13.3. No real property (interests in land) shall be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of without the authority of the Council, together with any other consents required by law, In each case a report in writing shall be provided to Council in respect of valuation and surveyed condition of the property (including matters such as planning permissions and covenants) together with a proper business case (including an adequate level of consultation with the electorate).
13.4. No real property (interests in land) shall be purchased or acquired without the authority of the full Council. In each case a report in writing shall be provided to Council in respect of valuation and surveyed condition of the property (including matters such as planning permissions and covenants) together with a proper business case (including an adequate level of consultation with the electorate).
13.5. Subject only to the limit set in Reg. 13.2 above, no tangible moveable property shall be purchased or acquired without the authority of the full Council. In each case a report in writing shall be provided to Council with a full business case.
13.6. The RFO shall ensure that an appropriate and accurate Register of Assets and Investments is kept up to date. The continued existence of tangible assets shown in the Register shall be verified at least annually, possibly in conjunction with a health and safety inspection of assets.
14.1. Following the annual risk assessment (per Financial Regulation 17), the Clerk shall effect all insurances and negotiate all claims on the Council's insurers.
14.2. The Clerk shall keep a record of all insurances effected by the Council and the property and risks covered thereby and annually review it.
14.3. The Clerk shall be notified of any loss liability or damage or of any event likely to lead to a claim and shall report these to Council at the next available meeting.
14.4. All appropriate members and employees of the Council shall be included in a suitable form of security or fidelity guarantee insurance which shall cover the maximum risk exposure as determined annually by the Council, or duly delegated committee.
15. RISK MANAGEMENT
15.1. The Council is responsible for putting in place arrangements for the management of risk. The Clerk shall prepare, for approval by the Council, risk management policy statements in respect of all activities of the Council. Risk policy statements and consequential risk management arrangements shall be reviewed by the Council at least annually.
15.2. When considering any new activity, the Clerk shall prepare a draft risk assessment including risk management proposals for consideration and adoption by the Council.
16. SUSPENSION AND REVISION OF FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
16.1. It shall be the duty of the Council to review the Financial Regulations of the Council from time to time. The Clerk shall make arrangements to monitor changes in legislation or proper practices and shall advise the Council of any requirement for a consequential amendment to these financial regulations.
16.2. The Council may, by resolution of the Council duly notified prior to the relevant meeting of Council, suspend any part of these Financial Regulations provided that reasons for the suspension are recorded and that an assessment of the risks arising has been drawn up and presented in advance to all members of Council.
Local Resolution Protocol
View Resolution Protocol
Local Resolution Protocol
Adopted at the Council’s 13 December 2017 Meeting
The Public Service Ombudsman has agreed to the principle of referring some complaints against Members back to Community and Town Councils for a local resolution. However to date there has not been a common process for Community and Town Councils to follow in dealing with such matters. To assist the sector, One Voice Wales has drawn up a model protocol which any Community and Town Council can use in dealing with such complaints.
This model protocol is meant as a starting point for Community and Town Councils. Individual councils may wish to add or amend this model to suit their particular needs. Councils wishing to use this process should first of all be clear about its purpose and intention, formally adopt it in its current or in a revised form and ensure that all Councillors are provided with a copy for their attention. The Council should then determine the framework through which it is operated which may require the establishment of a Committee or Panel or an extension of the terms of reference of an existing Panel or Committee such as a Complaints Panel or Committee. In the case of establishment of a new Panel it is important that terms of reference are prepared and approved by the Council. In either case it will be important for Councils to document in the terms of reference as to what will happen if there is a lack of co-operation shown by the member concerned or a breakdown occurring during the operation of the process. For example, in such cases the default position might be that the matter is referred to the Public Ombudsman for Wales.
The Local Resolution Process
Issues which should be considered under this process
Low level complaints about Members, including:
- Minor complaints from Members about Members
- Minor complaints from Officers about Members
- Members alleged to have not shown respect and consideration for others – either verbally or in writing
Issues which should not be considered under this process
Complaints which must be directed to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, including:
- Complaints instigated by a member of the public
- Serious complaints – breaches of the Code of Conduct/failure to disclose interests/bullying/abuse of position or trust/repeated breaches
- Complaints made by the Clerk/Proper Officer
- Vexatious, malicious or frivolous complaints
- Members’ complaints about officers which should be dealt with using the Council’s internal complaints process
- Repetitive low level complaints
The complaint would need to be sent in the first instance to the Clerk/Proper Officer of the Council who in consultation with the Monitoring Officer would undertake a first sift to decide whether the complaint is at a low level and could be dealt with in- house or referred on to the Ombudsman. If appropriate, therefore, the Clerk/Proper Officer should firstly seek an early resolution of any such dispute by liaising informally with the individual members concerned prior to the resolution process described below. It is vitally important that the ‘accused’ member is given full details of the complaint against them so that in the interests of natural justice they are in a position to prepare their response to the accusation.
The involvement of the Chair/Vice Chair of the Council in the following process is not to adjudicate on the complaint, but to attempt to get the members/officers involved to come to an agreement as to how the issue(s) could be resolved on an amicable basis.
The Clerk/Proper Officer will act as a facilitator for the resolution process below.
If the complaint is between Members other than the Chair of the Council, the Clerk/Proper Officer and the Chair will meet individually with the complainant and Member subject of the complaint to seek an agreed resolution.
If the complaint is between Members, one of whom is the Chair of Council, but not the Vice Chair, the Clerk/Proper Officer and the Vice Chair will meet with the complainant and Member subject of the complaint to seek an agreed resolution.
If the complaint has been made by an officer/employee, but not the Clerk/Proper Officer, against a Member other than the Chair of Council, the Clerk/Proper Officer and the Chair of Council will meet with the officer and the Member subject of the complaint to seek an agreed resolution.
If the complaint has been made by an officer/employee, but not the Clerk/Proper Officer, against the Chair of Council, the Clerk/Proper Officer and the Vice Chair of Council will meet with the officer and the Chair to seek an agreed resolution.
If the complaint has been made by the Clerk/Proper Officer, then it is likely to be best practice that this complaint is forwarded by way of a complaint to the Ombudsman.
Possible results of the process
If an agreement is reached by Members and/or officers during this Stage then no further action is required.
If agreement cannot be reached the aggrieved Member/officer would always have the opportunity of referring the matter to the Ombudsman.
Examples of agreements might include issue of a letter of apology, a written undertaking or commitment not to breach the Code of Conduct in the future, a commitment to undertake training or an agreement that on the basis of the evidence that no further action should be taken and the matter be closed.
Time for the process
It is the intention that all of the processes can be completed as quickly as possible to resolve the issue. However exact timing will depend on the availability of individuals to attend the meetings.
Adopted at the 13 December 2017meeting, agenda item 10
10 January 2018
Online Policy & Strategy (Website & Social Media)
View Online Policy
Manordeilo & Salem Community Council Online Policy
This document should be read as a companion to the Online Strategy document for Manordeilo & Salem Community Council (hereafter known as “the Council”) and the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.
The intention of this document is to set out the operating procedures for establishing, managing and (if necessary) closing online and social media accounts, profiles and platforms in the name of the Council.
Any changes made to this policy must be through a vote of the full Council.
Establishing a new online presence
To establish a new online presence, such as a website, blog, social media account or other such platform, the item must first be placed on the agenda for the following meeting in accordance with the Council Standing Orders.
At the following meeting a new online presence may be established once the full Council has taken a vote on the matter. However, all Councillors present must be made aware of the primary advantages and disadvantages of such an endeavour, particularly in terms of data and information security.
Registering and setting up accounts
As stated in the Online Strategy, the Clerk is to be designated as the ‘Council’ owner of the Community Council website, as well as any online and social media channels agreed by the Community Council. However, Councillors may be officially appointed following a vote by the full Council to assist the Clerk to disseminate information on the Council’s website and social media accounts.
Whichever of the Clerk or appointed Councillors is designated as the ‘lead’ shall be responsible for accurately and appropriately inputting any information required to establish registration for a new online presence. This information should not exceed the minimum required by the online platform unless it is deemed in the public interest.
The registration information shall be exclusively the information corresponding to the Council itself. Examples include, but are not limited to; address and contact details. If a responsible individual must be named on behalf of the Council then the name and information of the Clerk must be provided.
If payment is required to register a new online presence then this must first be agreed to by a vote of the full Council before any aspect of the registration process has begun and must be in accordance with the Standing Orders and Financial Regulations of the Council.
Any registration must be completed in the name of the Council itself and not in the name of any individual(s) or group(s) of Councillors or any Responsible Officer including the Clerk. Any new online presence must state clearly that it is established and maintained by Manordeilo & Salem Community Council and no other individual(s), group(s) or organisation(s).
Responsibility for managing and maintaining an online presence
Responsibility for the day-to-day management and maintenance of the presence of the Council on its online platforms shall be invested in the Clerk as the ‘owner’ of the platforms and the Councillor designated as the ‘lead’ (if different from the Clerk).
However, the Council may wish to create additional ‘administrators’ who will each be invested with joint responsibility for managing and maintaining the presence of the Council on its online platforms, in addition to the Clerk and the ‘lead’ (if different from the Clerk).
Additional ‘administrators’ may be appointed by a vote of the full Council. A maximum of two ‘administrators’ may be appointed to manage and maintain the presence of the Council on its online platforms in addition to the Clerk and the ‘lead’. However, if the Clerk is also the ‘lead’, then a maximum of three ‘administrators’ may be appointed by a vote of the full Council.
The ‘lead’ or any ‘administrators’ may be replaced or have their positions and account access removed and revoked following a vote of the full Council.
Monitoring and scrutiny
To allow Councillors the opportunity to scrutinise the management and maintenance of the online presence of the Council a regular agenda item should be created for Online & Social Media Accounts.
Councillors also have the option to appoint a sub-committee to scrutinise the management and maintenance of the online presence of the Council. The sub-committee may comprise no more than four Councillors and may be appointed by a vote of the full Council. The sub-committee should not include the ‘lead’ or any ‘administrators’.
Absence of the ‘lead’
If the ‘lead’ is unable to fulfil their role to manage and maintain the online presence of the Council for a period of no less than three months for any reason then a new ‘lead’ must be appointed by a vote of the full Council.
An acting ‘lead’ may be appointed in the intervening period to ensure that a Council representative is available at all times to respond to any messages received from members of the community. The acting ‘lead’ may be the Clerk (if different from the original ‘lead’) or an ‘administrator’.
For the purpose of this policy, online misconduct may be defined as the use of electronic communication to cause offence or inflict harm upon any individual(s), group(s) or organisation(s), to represent the Council in a negative manner or to contravene the Councillors’ Code of Conduct in any way.
Examples include, but are not limited to; posting or sharing illegal or copyrighted material, posting or sharing abusive, defamatory or offensive comments, images or videos, posting or sharing material that may reasonably be viewed as highly controversial, posting or sharing personal data or information without consent, posting or sharing sensitive Council data or information such as passwords etc.
Misconduct must be investigated and decided in the same manner as contravention of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct. Penalties for misconduct must also be decided in the same manner as penalties for contravening the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.
Guidelines and Parameters for Online Activity
The Council should endeavour to afford reasonable freedom for its representative(s) online in accordance with the nature of online platforms. The instantaneous nature of social media often requires immediate comment, feedback or resolution, otherwise the potential for meaningful engagement will be limited.
To aid the Council and its representatives in navigating the uncertain terrain surrounding social media, and to maintain a positive and professional image of the Council at all times, Councillors and Responsible Officers (including the Clerk) are advised to follow these guidelines:
- Abide by Policies
- All activity on the online platforms that the Council maintains must follow the Council’s agreed aims and outcomes as stated in the Online Strategy and be in accordance with the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and other relevant policies
- Be careful what is posted or shared
- Post only what is acceptable for the world to view. Although posts may be removed from websites without remaining viewable, posts on social media may remain viewable even after they have been removed
- Do not post or share stories that may be reasonably viewed as controversial unless agreed by a vote of the full Council
- Do not post or share commentary deemed to be defamatory, obscene, proprietary, libellous or anything in contravention of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct or other relevant policies
- Do not post or share links, photos, audios, videos or documents unless in possession of full knowledge of their content
- Do not disclose confidential matters or criticise Council policies or personnel
- Do not post images that include young people without parental permission
- Remember that people classified as “friends” have the ability to download and share your information with others
- Weigh whether a particular post or share puts your effectiveness at Manordeilo & Salem Community Council at risk
- Post focus
- Posts and shares should naturally focus on activities, events and organisations within or relevant to the community of Manordeilo & Salem
- Examples of organisations to follow include, but are not limited to; the Local Authority, newspapers or news websites, nearby town or community councils, visitor attractions, businesses etc.
- Do not show favouritism or preferential treatment for any individual(s), group(s) or organisation(s) other than their locality or relevance to the area. Posts or shares of any group(s) or organisation(s) should be balanced with posts or shares from other similar groups or organisations where possible
- Posts or shares from individuals should only be accepted if they contain information not available elsewhere and that the information is likely to be relevant or of interest to the community of Manordeilo & Salem
- Posts on the website should only include matters discussed in Council meetings, official notices such as, but not limited to, notices of audit and elections, and information that is mandated by statute such as, but not limited to, contact details for the Council and Councillors and agenda and minutes
- Post frequency
- The online presence of the Council should be updated frequently although this is not always possible
- The website should be updated at least once a month and preferably once a week
- The social media accounts of the Council should be updated at least once a week and be monitored on a daily basis if possible for new comments, messages, likes or shares
- Receipt of comments, messages or posts
- Where comments, messages or posts are received on the social media pages of the Council, an appropriate response should be issued in a timely manner in most cases
- Any questions or issues should be immediately passed on to the Clerk if possible or, if they could reasonably be viewed as simple or require urgent responses, should be addressed by the ‘lead’ or ‘administrators’ in the manner of a simple or urgent question or issue received through any other media form i.e. via telephone, email or in person
- If matters have been passed on to the Clerk, then this should be explicitly stated in a timely reply to the individual, group or organisation that originally raised the matter
- Some comments or posts may not require a response but may be ‘liked’ or ‘shared’. Care must be taken in this regard to avoid the assumption that specific statements or viewpoints are not ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ that may imply agreement or favouritism on the part of the Council without prior authorisation or confirmation of a Council position on the matter
- Any comment(s), message(s) or post(s) received that may reasonably be described as controversial, offensive, illegal, infringing copyright or other such acts not endorsed by the Council and not deemed appropriate should be deleted immediately and reported to the social media platform. The individual(s), group(s) or organisation(s) responsible for the comment(s), message(s) or post(s) should be immediately disassociated from the social media accounts of the Council and blocked from accessing or viewing any content
- If information is found on social media that falls under the mandatory reporting guidelines then it must be reported as required by law
Passwords and Security
Any passwords required to access the Council website or social media accounts should be agreed in person between the ‘lead’ and the Clerk or, if the Clerk is also the ‘lead’, between the Clerk and an ‘administrator’. The password should then be deposited with the Clerk who will keep it in a secure place.
Only the Clerk, ‘lead’ and ‘administrators’ may know the passwords for the Council website and social media accounts, which must never be divulged to any other individual(s), group(s) or organisation(s). The only exceptions to this rule are that passwords may be divulged to certified representatives of the Council website or social media provider(s) in the event of security or technical issue(s) and only if absolutely necessary. In such circumstances the security or technical issue(s) must be reported to the full Council and passwords must be immediately changed after the resolution of the issue(s).
The security settings of the Council social media pages must be checked regularly to ensure that only approved personnel are allowed access to the account. In addition, the privacy settings should be set to “only friends”, as any more open setting allows any unknown individual(s), group(s) or organisation(s) access to content.
To reduce security risks no external applications that work with the Council website or social media pages should be installed. Examples of these include, but are not limited to;calendar programs and games.
Anti-virus and malware protection should be regularly maintained and updated on any device that is used to access the Council website or social media pages to avoid infections of adware and spyware and the threat of hacking.
No Council website or Council social media page may be established or removed during the period after the Notice of a Community Council Election has been announced until the first normal meeting after the Poll has been concluded.
No material details or information pertaining to the Council website or Council social media pages may be changed or modified during the period after the Notice of a Community Council Election has been announced until the first normal meeting after the Poll has been concluded. Examples of details or information include, but are not limited to; name of the website or page, description or purpose, layout, profile pictures, passwords or security information etc.
No reference of any kind to any current or former Manordeilo & Salem Community Council and County Council candidates should be made during the period after the Notice of a Community Council Election has been announced until the first normal meeting after the Poll has been concluded. The only exceptions to this rule are that the Council website and Council social media pages may inform the local community who has been nominated for both the Community Council and County Council areas of Manordeilo& Salem and inform the local community of who has been elected following official confirmation of the Community Council and County Council election results (or following the official confirmation of an uncontested election). Care should be taken to ensure that no individual(s) or group(s) are favoured and that all candidates are referenced and treated equally, fairly and in an unbiased manner.
Any reference to candidates from other Town, Community and County Council elections may be construed as endorsement or otherwise and should also be avoided during the period after the Notice of a Community Council Election has been announced until the first normal meeting after the Poll has been concluded. Manordeilo & Salem Community Council must be seen to remain neutral during this period.
If an election for Manordeilo & Salem Community Council is contested the ‘lead’ (if different from the Clerk) and any ‘administrators’ must be prohibited from accessing the Council website and Council social media accounts. In the event of a contested election only the Clerk will be allowed access to the Council website and Council social media accounts during the period after the Notice of a Community Council Election has been announced until the first normal meeting after the Poll has been concluded.
In the event of an uncontested election the access arrangements to the Council website and Council social media accounts may continue as under normal circumstances provided that the Council is in agreement.
Merger or dissolution of the Community Council
In the event of the Council forming a constituent part of a merger between itself and one or more other Town or Community Councils the Council website and Council social media pages will become the property of the merged entity. The Clerk or Responsible Officer of the merged entity will become the new ‘owner’ of the Council website and Council social media pages and a new ‘lead’ must be appointed.
In the event of the Council being dissolved without replacement the Council website and Council social media will become the property of the Local Authority. A Responsible Officer must be appointed to become the new ‘owner’ of the Council website and Council social media pages.
View Online Strategy
Manordeilo & Salem Community Council Online Strategy
This document is intended to provide the framework to manage the internet and social media presence of the Community Council (hereafter referred to as “the Council”) and to outline the Council’s forward vision on their use.
In addition, it is intended to provide an overview and explanation of social media for the Clerk and Councillors, including the potential benefits and drawbacks of their use.
Social media has become the common term to describe a host of websites, applications and other online communication channels that are founded on content that is created, shared and viewed by users. This content may include text, photographs, video and audio that users may interact with to a greater or lesser extent.
Examples of social media range from all-encompassing social networks such as Facebook or to niche services such as LinkedIn (for businesses and working professionals). Other examples include Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, WhatsApp, Wikipedia and YouTube.
Worldwide, social media usage expanded by more than 480 million active users in the year between January 2016 and January 2017, with global social media usage now estimated to be around 2.8 billion active users1.
According to the statistical services company Statista2, as of April 2017, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world with almost two billion monthly active users (with 42 million in the UK). The same estimates suggest that WhatsApp has around 1.2 billion monthly active users while Twitter has around 320 million.
In the UK, the Office for National Statistics3 reported in 20163 that at least 63% of adults aged 16 or over had used the internet for social networking during the three months prior to the survey, which represented a 40% increase from 2011. In addition, 91% of 16-24 year-olds had used social networks during the same period, suggesting that overall usage may continue to increase.
Benefits of Social Media
Some of the numerous benefits of social media for Community Councils include:
- Enhanced engagement
- Greater scope for Councils and residents to actively engage regularly
- Speed of communication
- Communication of activities, events and issues can be instantaneous
- Breadth of communication
- Ability to form and maintain connections with anyone anywhere
- Potential to engage with both young and older members of the community
- Opportunity to engage with more isolated groups
- Easy accessibility
- Multiple devices can support social media (desktop computers; laptops; smartphones; tablets)
Although the benefits of social media are significant, there are downsides to every communication medium, which in this case include:
- Privacy of information is limited
- Anything posted or shared will enter the public domain in some form
- Community Councils should be accessible to all so its posts may be viewed by anyone in the world
- Registration is not required to view content in most cases. It is usually only required should one wish to participate on a site
- Monitoring processes can be flawed
- Groups or pages can be edited by administrators to reflect only a single interest
- Robust monitoring of administrative privileges is required to ensure diverse interests and voices are represented fairly
- “Fake news”
- There is no guarantee of truth to statements posted or shared online
- Ill-informed comment and gossip is as likely to be found as useful information
- Any post presenting factual claims without supporting sources available for scrutiny must be approached with caution
- Rapid communication
- The nature of social media as a set of platforms for instant communication can pressurise one to respond too quickly to comments or posts without sufficient time for weighted judgement
- Situations may become unintentionally inflamed and mistaken posts or responses can be spread around the world in moments
- Friends of Friends
- Care must be taken to ensure that all “Friendship requests” on social media are carefully scrutinised and judged on their individual merits
- Friends of friends may occasionally be figures or organisations that a Community Council may not wish to be associated with upon further investigation
- Viewing and responding to messages takes time. Care must be taken that the benefits do not outweigh the value gained
Aims and Objectives
The Council aims to use the internet and social media in order to improve engagement and interaction, particularly with younger people within the community, and to increase publicity of the functions and work of the Council.
We will achieve these objectives by:
- Communicating news, information and events from the Council or from other individuals and organisations with links to the community
- Sharing appropriate and relevant content
- Engaging with individuals and organisations in a timely, appropriate and positive manner to promote Council services, resolve issues and generate positive publicity
- Upholding and improving the reputation of the Council
- Adopting a consistent approach and clear vision across all online platforms
- Safeguarding any sensitive Council information and keeping it secure
- Ensuring that users operate within the Code of Conduct and guidelines elsewhere in this policy and other relevant Council documents
- Integrating online communications with each other and with traditional forms of communication such as noticeboards
It is acknowledged that there is considerable potential for using online platforms, especially social media, which can provide significant advantages. The responsible, corporate use of social media is actively encouraged. The following applies equally to the Clerk and Councillors.
This policy provides a structured approach to using social media and will ensure that it is effective, lawful and does not compromise Council information.Users must ensure that they use social media sensibly and responsibly, and ensure that its use will not adversely affect the Council or its business, nor be damaging to the Council's reputation and credibility or otherwise violate any Council policies.
The following guidelines will act in support of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and further guidelines applicable in the Online & Social Media Policy of the Council. These aforementioned guidelines apply to online participation and set out the standards ofbehaviour expected as a representative of Manordeilo & Salem Community Council:
- Be aware of and recognise your responsibilities identified in the Internet and Social Media Policy
- Remember that you are personally responsible for the content you publish on any form of social media
- Never give out personal details of others such as home address and telephone numbers
- Ensure that you handle any personal or sensitive information in line with the Data Protection Act
- Use a disclaimer. When using social media for personal purposes, you must not imply you are speaking for the Council. Avoid use of the Council e-mail address, logos or other council identification. Make it clear that what you say is representative of your personal views only. Where possible, you should include a standard disclaimer, such as: "Statements and opinions here are my own and don't necessarily represent the Council's policies or opinions"
- Know your obligations: you must comply with other Council policies when using social media. For example, you should be careful not to breach Council confidentiality and proprietary information policies and the Code of Conduct
- Show respect to all. Derogatory comments are always wrong
- Use of the Council’s website or Facebook accounts must always reflect the Council’s position and decisions on a matter and in no circumstances must it be used to express personal opinion, particularly when used by a Councillor. If unsure, say nothing
Councillors are at liberty to set up accounts using any of the tools available but should ensure they are clearly identified as personal and do not in any way imply that they reflect the Council’s view. Councillors should at all times present a professional image and not disclose anything of a confidential nature. Comments of a derogatory, proprietary or libellous nature should not be made and care should be taken to avoid guesswork, exaggeration and colourful language.
The Clerk is to be designated as the ‘Council’ owner of the Community Council website and any online and social media channels agreed by the Community Council. Councillors may be officially appointed by the Community Council following a vote by the Council to assist the Clerk to disseminate information on the Council’s website and social media accounts.
It is required that all responsible officers, including the Clerk, and all Councillors representing the Council follow this policy. No account details may be changed without the permission of the Clerk. Individual Councillors are at liberty to set up their own accounts but they should ensure they comply with this policy and with the Code of Conduct of the Community Council. Councillors must also ensure the ‘personal view’ disclaimer is used for individual accounts.
Guidance for Councillors - social media and meetings
The Council encourages Councillors to keep residents informed of Manordeilo & Salem community issues and the use of social media in particular can help with this objective.
Below are some extra guidelines for Councillors to consider for the use of social media during meetings:
- Handheld devices are permitted for use during meetings to allow environmentally friendly and effective communication. The use of such devices is intended to improve communication during meetings - not to interrupt or distract anyone taking part. Ensure the volume on all electronic devices is turned to 'mute'
- Social media updates from Councillors during Council meetings should refer to the discussions that are taking place at the meeting - updates about other subjects will show the public and other attendees at the meeting that you are not engaging properly in the meeting
- Councillors have a responsibility to take Council business seriously and it is not appropriate for members to use social media to tease or insult other members
- Remember that if you break the law using social media (for example by posting something defamatory), you will be personally responsible
Social media have been rapidly growing in popularity in the UK and around the world for the last ten years. Research suggests4 that in 2016 a majority of people from all age groups up to 65 years old were active users of social networks in the three months prior to being surveyed.
For individuals, social networking sites provide tremendous opportunities for staying in touch with friends and family, as well as accessing news and information on activities and events. For the Council, these sites provide a modern alternative to communicating with residents of the community, particularly younger people who are often unaware of the functions and role of the Council.
Facebook is the obvious choice for many Councils and community organisations to begin to establish a social media presence. As already stated, it is by far the largest social network in the world based on monthly active users, as well as being the most popular social network in the UK.
A survey published by Ofcom in 20165 suggested that 95% of all adults aged 16 or over in the UK who have a social media profile use Facebook. This equates to almost 60% of the total adult population of the UK. Facebook was considered to be the primary social media platform of 84% of people with social media profiles. The next-highest percentage was the messaging service WhatsApp with just 5%.
Two of the great advantages of Facebook are the versatility of the platform and the ease with which organisations and individuals can connect and interact. For example, Facebook allows the Council to:
- Share unlimited content including images and videos
- Share articles / blog posts / expertise
- Start discussions and ask questions to encourage interaction
- Create surveys to encourage participation from residents
- Provide news and events from the area
One of the hallmarks of online networks is the ability to “friend” others – creating a group of others that share interests and personal news. Care should be exercised when accepting invitations to friend others within personal social networking sites. Friends will gain access to the Council’s network of contacts on the site.
Good practice guidelines and operating procedures for the use of online and social media by the Council can be found within the separate Online & Social Media Policy.
Instagram is a photo-sharing social media platform that allows users to upload and share photos and short videos that have been filtered in a range of ways to highlight particular features or points. With over 600 million active monthly users6 the site has become the primary method of sharing photographic stories around the world.
Within the UK, Instagram announced in 20147 that it had 14 million registered active monthly users, although it has shown a remarkable doubling in global growth since that time. The percentage of adults with social media profiles in the UK who reported having established profiles on Instagram has also increased significantly(37.5%) since 2014 according to Ofcom8.
The advantages of Instagram to Councils are numerous, yet many have been slow to adopt profiles, with only a handful of Community Councils around the UK registering at the time of writing. Some advantages include:
- Promoting attractive features of the community
- Promoting Council or community activities and events
- Raising awareness of issues
- Encouraging increased user engagement
- Supporting Facebook page through ease of linkage
Despite the ubiquity of social media, traditional websites maintain an important role in the online strategies of public organisations, especially Community Councils.
The Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 requires Community Councils to have websites and to publish various information electronically. This information includes contact details for the Clerk and Councillors as well as agenda and minutes of Council meetings.
While social media allows publication of some of this material, publishing significant amounts of documents in a static location remains a task best suited to websites, which are not only available to be viewed by anyone with an internet connection but also perform the role of information repositories.
The Community Council intends to maintain and regularly update its website until such time as websites are no longer mandatory for Community Councils and a suitable, cost-effective online replacement emerges.
Other Social Media
At this stage it is not intended to use any other forms of social media for official use by Manordeilo & Salem Community Council. However, this should be open to review in the future, with regular monitoring expected.
New online and social media platforms may emerge that become popular among local residents or that provide greater utility in engaging with the community. These should be reviewed and adopted as far as possible to ensure that the Council maintains a progressive approach to technology and community engagement.
Councillors are entitled to use any form of social media they wish to but must abide by the guidelines outlined in this strategy and the complementary Online & Social Media Policy at all times when so doing.
- Kemp, S. (2017). Digital in 2017: Global Overview. Retrieved April 23, 2017 from https://wearesocial.com/uk/blog/2017/01/digital-in-2017-global-overview↵
- Statista. (2017).
Data derived from:Most famous social network sites worldwide as of April 2017, ranked by number of active users (in millions). Retrieved April 24, 2017 from Statista: The Statistics Portal:https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/↵
- Office of National Statistics. (2016). Data derived from: Internet Access – Households and Individuals. Retrieved from ONS website: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/householdcharacteristics/homeinternetandsocialmediausage/datasets/internetaccesshouseholdsandindividualsreferencetables↵
- Office of National Statistics. (2016). Data derived from: Internet Access – Households and Individuals. Retrieved from ONS website: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/householdcharacteristics/homeinternetandsocialmediausage/datasets/internetaccesshouseholdsandindividualsreferencetables↵
- Ofcom. (2016). Adults’ media use and attitudes. Retrieved April 25, 2017 from Ofcom website: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/80828/2016-adults-media-use-and-attitudes.pdf↵
- Statista. (2017). Data derived from: Most famous social network sites worldwide as of April 2017, ranked by number of active users (in millions). Retrieved April 24, 2017 from Statista: The Statistics Portal: https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/↵
- O’Reilly, L. (2015). Instagram now has 14 million users in the UK. Retrieved April 25, 2017 from Business Insider UK website: http://uk.businessinsider.com/instagram-14-million-monthly-active-users-uk-2015-7?r=US&IR=T↵
- Ofcom. (2016). Adults’ media use and attitudes. Retrieved April 25, 2017 from Ofcom website: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/80828/2016-adults-media-use-and-attitudes.pdf↵