Agenda and minutes

Liaison Meeting with Community Councils - Thursday, 16th February, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Taylor Strange  Governance Support Officer

No. Item




Patricia Appleton Graig Community Council


Minutes of the previous meeting: 20 October 2022 pdf icon PDF 119 KB


The Minutes of the previous meeting were held as a true record.


The Role of the Standards Committee


The Community Council Representatives received a presentation from the Democratic and Electoral Services Manager.


Main Points:

·         On the Standards Committee there are 5 independent members, an independent Chair, 3 Councillor members, and 1 community council representative. 

·         The Chair leads the Committee, in its role of promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by Councillors and co-opted members.

·         The Committee ensures thoroughness and objectivity, receiving and responding to professional advice on the Code of Conduct.

·         Another of its roles is to provide confident and effective management of meetings to facilitate inclusivity, participation and clear decision making.

·         The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 had been amended to extend the functions of the Standards Committee in the way it operated with a duty to now monitor the group leader’s compliance, with requests for the group leaders to come back to committee with a report regarding their provision of advice and training.

·         The Standards Committee also had a duty to provide an annual report.

·         The role of the Monitoring Officer/Deputy Monitoring Officer was to advise the Standards Committee, ensuring compliance with statutory requirements, resolution of ‘low level complaints’ as well as investigating complaints referred by the Ombudsman.

·         The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales investigates all formal complaints of breaches of the Code with any serious breaches to be reported back to the Standards Committee or Case Tribunal of Adjudication Panel for Wales.

·         Members sanctioned can appeal and the Committee can suspend a Member for a year, or they could be disqualified for up to 5 years.




Councillor Reynolds asked whether the Standards Committee met on a regular basis. It was confirmed that the Standards Committee met every 2 months, and the Chair of the Standards Committee was to be invited to a future Community Councils Liaison Meeting to discuss the work that the Standards Committee had completed in the last 12 months.  A representative from the Community Councils, Mr John Davies also sat on the Standards Committee.




the Role of the Community Councils



The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager presented this item to the Community Council Representatives.


Main Points:


-          There were 735 community councils in Wales with 94% of land area and represented communities of between 200 people to 50,000 residents and are a link between principal councils and community councils.

-          Community and town councillors are elected (or sometimes co-opted) to represent the views of local people.

-          In England they’re called Town Councils.

-          Community Councils were established under the Local Government Act 1972. The Wales provision was amended by the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 with the most recent in 2021.

-          The main source of funding for community councils is the funds raised through what is referred to as a precept (a charge) to council tax under section 41 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992

-          The Local Government Act 2000 introduced a new standards regime for community councils. Under the Local Government Act 2000, the Welsh Ministers may by order specify the principles that are to govern the conduct of members of community councils and may issue a model Code of Conduct that members must observe.

-          The Roles and Responsibilities of the Community Councils include:

·         Supporting their Communities to have a voice,

·         Planning

·         Parks, playing fields and open spaces.

·         Raise resources for the community.


-          The Community Council must appoint a Chair, appoint officers and appoint a responsible financial officer which can be the Clerk.

-          The internal auditor also holds an Annual Meeting of the Council.


The Duties include:

·         Obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 to publish the register of interests.

·         To comply with general law.

·         Holding regular hybrid meetings which are open to the public and provide sufficient advance notice of the meetings being held.

·         To consider the impact of their decisions on reducing crime and disorder in their area.

·         To provide allotments if the council considers that there is demand for them from local residents and it is reasonable to do so.

·         having regard to conserving biodiversity in carrying out their functions.

·         having a website that is accessible to the public.


The Role of Councillors include:

·         To attend community council meetings when summoned to do so.

·         To prepare for meetings by studying the agenda and making sure you are properly informed about issues to be discussed, take part in meetings and form objective judgements based on what is best for the community and then to abide by majority decisions.

·         ensure, with other councillors, that the council is properly managed.

·         acting on behalf of the whole electorate equally

·         to maintain proper standards of behaviour as an elected representative of the people.

·         Councillors have 3 main components: Decision making, monitoring, and getting involved locally. This can depend on what community councils want to achieve. 


Councillors are bound by a Code of Conduct which outlines what behaviour and conduct is expected of them at all times in their role as a Councillor.


The key principles of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Protection of Officers carrying out their public duty


The Wentlooge Representative stated that the previous Chair of Wentlooge had been dealing with fly tipping on their land.

The Marshfield Representative explained that the new landowner in the area of Wentlooge had put a gate across the right of way on a path. The issue went to Planning and Environmental Decisions Wales (PEDW) and the Planning Inspector to make a decision. It was alleged that the particular landowner of the community had threatened the Chair, and at the last Wentlooge community meeting where the Landowner in question attended the meeting was difficult, and it was a difficult meeting to govern. The Chair of Wentlooge had received threats and had damage done to this property and did not receive support from Police.


It was discussed that Police did not usually attend community councils in person, which was unfortunate, however Police did support police surgeries.

Community Council representatives discussed whether Police should be called in those situations where community council meetings become fractious as community councils received no training to deal with those kinds of situations. It was stated that this situation was putting people off joining a Community Council. Community Councils tried to engage with the public to try to encourage more people to join community councils. However, if people felt they were being threatened they would not join. 


The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager agreed that it was a challenging situation but there were good support aids available through WLGA. It was discussed that guidance could be provided to community councils at a future meeting and a Police representative could maybe attend a future community council meeting.

The Marshfield representative stated that community councils needed to engage with Police and get the message through that as Community Councillors they were in the public realm and could be at risk also.

The Marshfield Representative stated that another Councillor C.Roberts had been at the meeting mentioned and found it quite intimidating.

The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager stated that there could be discussions with Marshfield and Wentlooge Community Councils outside the meeting on this issue.

It was discussed that the previous Chair of Wentlooge Community Councils was a very active chair, and these incidents could make it more difficult to get people to join community councils and hard to keep them.

The Marshfield Representative stated that city councillors were even more vulnerable with no control over who comes into a public community council meeting.

The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager stated that the nature of the community council roles was about engaging in the community. WLGA guidance will be presented to Community Councils for the next meeting.


Councillor Reynolds stated that what the Marshfield Representatives had described was upsetting and it did put people off joining community councils and his community council meeting received nothing in terms of those level of threats, but he had been present at previous meetings where people had been passionate in their views. Councillor Reynolds also stated that the big difference with a public meeting in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Date of the Next Meeting

To be confirmed


A request has been made for Planning Aid Wales to hold an engagement session with Community Councils to consult them on the Local Development Plan. The public consultation started on the 25th January 2023. It was hoped this would be organised before the 8 March so a date would be finalised in due course. 

The date of the next meeting would also be finalised in due course with a reminder for community councils that the Liaison meeting was now hybrid and community council representatives could attend remotely or in person.

The Community Councils were reminded of the Democratic Services email address of if they needed any assistance. The Head of Law and Standards also provided her email address of

Agenda items for the next meeting included:

·         Health and Safety officer and Police representative to attend the Community Liaison meeting.

·         The Chair of Standards to attend the next meeting.

At the next meeting the Annual Report that Community Councils had to complete would be discussed. This was a new document this year that community councils had to produce which was part of the legislation under the Local Government Act. There would be a review of this at the next meeting as well as a discussion as to the content of the report and the level of detail required. 

One Voice Wales provided a guide for the Local Government Act which went into detail and a briefing would be put together for community councils for the next meeting. The link is as follows:

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act Statutory Guidance for Town and Community Councils



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