The Standards Conference Wales 2018 was held in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion on Friday, 14 September.

Hosted jointly by Ceredigion and Powys County Councils, the Conference was open to representatives of Ethics and Standards Committees of Welsh Local Authorities, Welsh Government, Police Agencies, Fire and Rescue Authorities, National Park Authorities, and other relevant organisations.

The main Guest Speaker was Mr Nick Bennett, Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. Ms Claire Sharp, President of the Adjudication Panel for Wales and Mr Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council also addressed the conference.

Mr Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council said, “It’s a pleasure to welcome representatives from across Wales to Ceredigion to the Standards Conference. In this time of change, having the opportunity to get together and hear speakers such as Nick Bennett and Claire Sharp is an excellent opportunity to share good practice and align expectations for consistent high ethical standards across Wales.”

The Conference is held approximately every three years in the North, Mid and South Wales regions respectively.

Ceredigion Standards and Ethics Committee Chairman, Hywel Wyn Jones, said, “Training, and ensuring that all our local Councillors understand the guidelines, are an important part of maintaining high ethical standards. A conference such as this gives us a platform for useful discussion and sharing good practice on an all-Wales canvas. The first National Standards Conference was held here in Ceredigion ten years ago, and it was great to see it return here this year.”

Workshops were held during the day, with varied and interesting discussions on topics such as bullying and social media, practical issues relating to standards hearings, sharing of good practice, and examining the system here in Wales in comparison with other countries.

Independent Member Helen Rhydderch-Roberts, Chair of Powys County Council’s Standards Committee, said: “I would like to thank colleagues in Ceredigion and Powys county councils for their time and effort in hosting an important and successful conference.

“It is vital for all those in public service to understand and abide by a Code of Conduct in their work and this conference has helped the representatives from all the relevant bodies compare their approaches and ideas, an opportunity only possible in such an environment.”