Policies & Procedures

By scrolling down, you can refer to the following:-

  1. Welsh Language Policy
  2. Equal Opportunities Policy
  3. Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy
  4. Environmental Policy
  5. Complaints Procedure – Council complaints and Councillor complaints

 

1. WELSH LANGUAGE POLICY

The Council has a responsibility to promote the Welsh language.  In doing so, it plays a positive role in encouraging good practice.

Objectives: 

  1. To progress, within available staffing and financial resources, to a situation which will allow greater access to the services, facilities and democratic processes of the Council in the medium of the Welsh language.
  2. To monitor the policy to ensure that objectives are achieved and standards maintained.

New policies and initiatives:  When the Council plans new policies or initiatives, it will consider the linguistic consequences to ensure that they meet the objectives of this policy. New policies and initiatives will facilitate the use of the Welsh Language wherever possible and reasonably practicable within the meaning of the Act.

Meetings and translation: Council and committee meetings are generally open to the public as observers. However current financial constraints curb the provision of translation facilities for the Welsh Language. In fact no demand for such facilities has been experienced in recent times. This will be kept under review.

Public and Other Meetings: Given the current lack of staff who are fluent in the Welsh language and the severity of financial constraints, the offering of translation facilities at public and other meetings is with regret not seen as a viable proposition within the foreseeable future.

The Council’s Public Image: The Council’s name and address and other standard information used on its letter headings will be bilingual.

Staffing: At present the Council has no Welsh speaking clerk. This, to-date, has not presented any difficulties. The Council will, however, encourage staff to learn Welsh and give due regard to the need to speak Welsh when recruiting. Staff will not, however, be pressurised to move post or engage in training against their will simply because of the priorities outlined in this policy.

Dealing with the Welsh Speaking Public:

Written Communications – The public are welcome to contact the Council in writing in either English or Welsh. Every letter received in Welsh will receive a signed reply in Welsh whenever a reply is required. Telephone Communications – With regret, there is currently no Welsh speaking officer employed by the Council who would be able to deal with Welsh language telephone enquiries. For the present, callers will be invited to write to the Council using their chosen language, and/or continue in English.

Publishing and Printing Materials for the Public: Any publications which the Council might consider in the future, such as newsletters or information sheets, will include a bilingual content which respects the principle of equality. Minutes of Council and Committee meetings are currently provided in the English language. The cost of providing a Welsh Language version of minutes is considered to be prohibitive and beyond what can reasonably be imposed on the Council Tax payers. However a bilingual agenda will be provided where practicable.

Advertising and Publicity: Statutory notices will be published in both languages in accordance with the Act.

Monitoring: This policy will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis by full Council.

Policy adopted by Council on 20 April 2015

 

2. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

The Council has a responsibility to promote equal opportunities and oppose discrimination.  In doing so, it plays a positive role in encouraging good practice.

Statement of Intent: The Council aims to promote equal opportunities within the corporate body and in all its activities to ensure that no individual is discriminated against on any of the following grounds:

  • Language
  • Gender
  • Ethnic Origin
  • Marital Status
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Nationality
  • Religious or Political Belief
  • Physical or Mental Disabilities
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Sensory Impairment
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Colour
  • Domestic Care Responsibilities
  • Social or Economic Background
  • Age
  • Health Status
  • Unrelated criminal convictions

The Council seeks to conform with the legislation relevant to anti-discrimination:

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Equal Pay Act 1970

Race Relations Act 1976

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Sex Discrimination Act 1975

Criminal Records Code of Practice

Objectives:

  1. Employment – No existing or potential member of staff should face discrimination, either directly or indirectly, in the advertising and recruitment procedures, or through lack of necessary facilities for people with disabilities or those with sensory impairments.  Existing staff who may become disabled will be provided with support and assistance to enable them to continue in post where appropriate.
  2. Volunteering – The Council is committed to good practice in volunteering in line with staff recruitment and employment procedures.
  3. Practice – The Council will ensure that all its services are equally available and accessible to everyone in the community.

Monitoring and Review:

The Equal Opportunities policy will be regularly monitored and reviewed by full Council so as to remain effective. The Chairman and Vice Chairman have overall responsibility for Equal Opportunities.

Strategy:

  1. Equal Opportunities information and advice will be given to promote adherence to the policy.
  2. All published materials including recruitment advertisements will be non-discriminatory.

Complaints:

Individuals or groups with a complaint may refer to the Chairman, Vice Chairman or a councillor any matter which they feel may be grounds for discrimination.

Practice:

All councillors will seek to adhere to and comply with this policy.

Policy adopted by Council on 20 April 2015

 

3. SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN & VULNERABLE ADULT POLICY

‘Vulnerable’ individuals:

  • Children under 18 years
  • Young people
  • People with learning difficulties or physical disabilities
  • Frail elderly people
  • Carers

The Council has a duty of care to all those using land, premises, equipment and facilities under its control within the Ward. This policy applies to councillors, staff, contractors and volunteers.

Principles: The Council has a duty to safeguard vulnerable users of land, premises, equipment and facilities under its control within the Ward, as well as those who may come into contact with vulnerable users. Members should respond to any concerns they may have regarding the physical, sexual, emotional or psychological safety of a vulnerable person, and/or concerns relating to discriminatory or financial violation or exploitation of a vulnerable person. This policy is in place to protect all vulnerable persons regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, religion or faith.

Policy:

  1. No member, no employee and no volunteer of the Council will have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults.
  1. Any suspicions or allegations of abuse against a child will be taken seriously and referred to the principal authority speedily and appropriately.
  1. The Council will ensure to the best of its ability that the welfare of the child or vulnerable adult is paramount and shall alert the principal authority and the police service where appropriate. All children and vulnerable adults, without exception, have the right to protection from abuse, whether physical, verbal, sexual, bullying, exclusion or neglect. Bullying, shouting, physical violence, sexism and racism towards children will not be permitted or tolerated.
  1. All councillors will be made aware of this policy.
  1. The Council will establish a safe environment within the outdoor playgrounds under its control which meet stringent European play equipment and playground surfacing regulations.
  1. The Council will ensure that young people and vulnerable users are welcome to meetings and will feel safe and secure in the meeting environment.
  1. The Clerk will assist anyone who is unable to read notices wherever displayed and any physically disabled person who wishes to attend meetings.
  1. All facilities will be available as far as possible to all users.
  1. The Council will strive to use various types of media to publicise its actions.

Reporting incidents: The nominated Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adult representative is the Clerk. He/she will be responsible for reporting concerns that may arise, as a matter of urgency, to Carmarthenshire County Council as the Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult lead agency.

The Clerk will know –

  • Who to contact at Carmarthenshire County Council – 01267 234567 and out-of-hours Careline 01558 824283.
  • Information regarding about helplines and other sources of help for children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Monitoring: This policy will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis by full Council.

Policy adopted by Council on 20 April 2015

 

4. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

The Community Council seeks to meet the environmental standards set down by law and minimize any potentially harmful impacts of its activities where ever practicable.

Environmental Sustainability: Our objective will be to minimize energy use and its associated CO2 emissions. We will achieve this by:

  • Limiting energy used to heat meeting rooms
  • Promoting car sharing to attend meetings

Waste management: Our objective will be to minimise the generation of waste. We will achieve this by:

  • Recycling paper and plastic
  • Disposing of any obsolete and hazardous waste in accordance with environmental legislation

Litter management: Our objective will be to provide a safe clean environment for the local community and our visitors. We will achieve this by:

  • Ensuring adequate litter bins in the locality
  • Ensuring adequate recycling points for bottles, cans, card, paper and plastics
  • Organizing Keep Wales Tidy beach clean days on a regular basis

Use of chemicals: Our objective will be to insist on the use of environmentally friendly products, used in maintaining footpaths and street furniture under the control of the Council, that minimize the impact on the environment. We will achieve this by:

  • Using biodegradable materials and environmentally friendly products where practicable
  • Using products in accordance with manufacturers guidance
  • Disposing of any chemicals used where no practicable option exists in accordance with environmental legislation

Members, staff and volunteer awareness: Our objective will be to encourage members, staff and volunteers to become more aware of environmental issues and recognise the role they can play in protecting the environment. We will achieve this by:

  • Discussing environmental awareness topics
  • Encouraging participation in Keep Wales Tidy events

Purchasing policy: Our objective will be to implement a sustainable procurement policy for goods and services. We will achieve this by:

  • Using local suppliers wherever possible
  • Promoting sustainable environmental policy and practice with our contractors and suppliers

Monitoring: This policy will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis by full Council.

Policy adopted by Council on 20 April 2015

 

5. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE – COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE COUNCIL

HOW TO COMPLAIN: The Council hopes that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned.  If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, the Council would like you to let it know as soon as possible, ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks, because this will enable it to establish what happened more easily.  If it is not possible to do that, please let the Council have details of your complaint within: 

  • 6 months of the incident that caused the problem
  • Within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident.
  • If 12 months has elapsed before a complaint has been put in about an incident, this will make it more difficult to establish facts.

COMPLAINING ON BEHALF OF SOMEONE ELSE:  Please note that the Council will keep strictly to the rules of confidentiality.  If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, will wish to know that you have their permission to do so.  A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of physical and mental illness) of providing this.

Stage 1 Complaints should be addressed to the Clerk to the Council in the first instance, however if the complaint is in respect of the Clerk then it needs to be addressed to the Chairman of the Council who will appoint a Council member to deal with your complaint. You may ask for an appointment with the Clerk/Council member in order to discuss your concerns.  The Clerk/Council member will explain the complaints procedure to you and will ensure that your concerns are dealt with promptly.  It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.

A complaint may be made via the telephone, in person or in writing.

  • Once details of your complaint have been noted by the Clerk/ Council member you will be sent a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint and advising you to put your complaint in writing, if you have not already done so, although this is not something by law you have to do.
  • The Council will make every effort to investigate and resolve your complaint within ten working days of the date when you raised it.

This is classed as first stage procedure and the majority of complaints are sorted out at this stage.

If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been resolved at Stage 1 it will be referred to the Complaints Panel which normally consists of three members of the Council.

Stage 2 At this stage the Complaints Panel will:

  • Establish what happened
  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this.
  • If a problem is identified determine what the Council can do to make sure it does not happen again and issue an apology, if appropriate.
  • Present a report to the next meeting of the Council.

The Council aims to deal with your complaint satisfactorily within 4 weeks of it going to Stage 2.

Stage 3 If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been investigated using the less formal procedures at Stages 1 and  2 then it will be referred to the full Council.

At all stages of the procedure the rules of natural justice will apply.  In other words, all parties will be treated fairly and the process will be reasonable, accessible and transparent.

COMPLAINING TO THE PUBLIC SERVICES OMBUDSMAN FOR WALES: If a complainant is still not satisfied with the outcome of this Stage 3 process there is a right of complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales on the grounds of maladministration.  He will consider all complaints independently and impartially. Guidance on how to complain and what matters can be investigated by the Ombudsman can be found here

A complainant may complain to the Public Service Ombudsman at any time but usually he will refer it back to the Council to be settled locally.

  1. Complaints about an employee of the council (i.e. the Clerk or other member of staff) should be dealt with as an employment matter. The complainant can be assured that the matter will be dealt with internally as such and appropriate action taken as required once the complaints procedure has been followed.
  1. In respect of complaints about members, recent legislation has come into force from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. The Ombudsman has made it clear that he will not normally consider a complaint unless the complainant has first drawn the matter to the council’s attention and given them a reasonable opportunity to look into it and respond.  In respect of complaints that Councillors have breached the code of conduct the provisions of Part III of the Local Government Act 2000 continue to apply, as do the relevant orders made by the National Assembly under that Act.
  1. Section 33 of the Act creates a duty on all Authorities within the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction, including community councils, to take reasonable steps to inform members of the public of their right to complain to the Ombudsman. Therefore the Ombudsman’s telephone enquiry number is 0845 601 0987 and calls to this number are charged at local rate, the address is Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, 1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae, Pencoed. CF35 5LJ, their website address is ombudsman.wales.org.uk and their e-mail is ask@ombudsman-wales.org.uk

COMPENSATION FOR THE PERSON AGGRIEVED:  Section 34 of the new Act provides that where a complaint has been made to the Ombudsman, listed authorities have power to make a payment to, or provide any other benefit for, the person aggrieved.  This power is available even where the Ombudsman has not completed his investigation or upheld the complaint, i.e. it could be used to reach an agreed settlement.

Policy adopted by Council on 20 October 2008

 

6. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE – COMPLAINTS ABOUT A COUNCILLOR: Should you wish to make a complaint about the conduct of a councillor, you should write to the Monitoring Officer at Carmarthenshire County Council and/or the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. Guidance can be found here.