To review a range of items relating to the Council’s
The Chairman stated that over the past six months a range of
matters relating to Standing Orders had come up for further
discussion and agreement.
a) To consider secret ballot for the appointment
of Chair/Vice at future AGM’s
Chirk has historically always voted for the Election of
Chair and Vice Chair under a secret ballot, however due to
remote meeting protocols and no mention of secret ballot
within the Council’s Standing Orders it was agreed to decide
what to do in future years.
JA stated this was a long tradition in Chirk and saves ill
feeling and in the interests of a united Council she
proposed to return to a secret ballot. TE supported this.
NJ highlighted the term of the Chairman, to give time to
work with the Clerk and get into the role, one year is too
short and would like the Council to consider three years. SW
supported this and asked if this was possible? The Clerk
confirmed that an annual election must take place, however
the Council could vote in the same Chairman for three years.
The Clerk drew attention to One Voice Wales advice and the
NALC model Standing Orders which states that all nominations
and votes should be open, in the object of conducting
Council business in an open and transparent manner.
GB proposed to return to the Chirk tradition of holding a
secret ballot and amending the Standing Orders accordingly.
JA seconded the proposal. SW was strongly against this and
felt it should be an open vote. The Council agreed, by
majority, to holding of a secret ballots.
b) To consider giving delegated authority to
BC stated that the committees do not have delegated powers,
the work of the committees go into great detail and can not
make decisions, instead there is much duplication by going
through it all again at Council meetings. BC sought to get
delegated authority for committees to work more effectively
and efficiently. This was met by resistance by some Members
stating mis-trust and lack of fairness and a loss of control
by the whole Council. BC challenged what was the point of
committees – should all work be undertaken by the full
Council? FH stated that if it is done properly, committees
with delegated authority can work very well. The Clerk
stated that in law certain things, including the setting of
the budget and precept, can not be delegated. The Council
can decide the appropriate level of delegation. The Clerk
also noted that since she had commenced with the Council, no
challenge had ever been made by Council on Committee
recommendations. After a detailed discussion GB proposed to
trial delegated powers with the Planning Committee only and
keep all other committees as they are. JA seconded the
proposal. The Council agreed by majority.
c) To consider giving authority for the Clerk to
mark documents as confidential
The Clerk reported that after issuing the recent Health &
Safety report, some Members felt that because of the
sensitivity of the document, consideration should have been
given to the marking of the document as confidential. Going
forward, and having sought advice, it was recommended that
the Clerk can mark documents confidential, whilst giving
consideration to be being open and transparent . Members
discussed that this was reasonable and for the Chair and
Clerk to agree jointly. JA proposed to move to two part
agenda with part 2 being a confidential section. GB seconded
the proposal. Council agreed.
The Clerk confirmed that this will be helpful with all
minutes now going on the website.
d) To consider if Code of Conduct Member training
(or other training) is a requirement of newly appointed
Clerk attendance at a training session on Code of Conduct it
was recommended that within the Standing Orders the Council
consider that all newly appointed Councillors must attend
Code of Conduct training. Members felt that the Handbook on
the Code of Conduct needed to be reviewed. JA felt that new
Councillors should attend Induction training within 6
CB noted that
13B of the Standing Orders already states that all
Councillors shall undertake training.
requested the Clerk maintain a central training record for
Action: Clerk to create training records and monitor
refresher training on the Code of Conduct, this was
supported by the Council.
Clerk to arrange training.