Independent persons for standards matters
The council promotes and maintains high standards of conduct through its Monitoring Officer and Standards and Audit Committee. Under the Localism Act 2011, the council has adopted a Members’ Code of Conduct, which reflects the Nolan Principles of Public Life.
The council has arrangements in place for dealing with any allegations that the code has been broken by its elected members or those of its two parish councils. The act requires that, before a decision is taken on an allegation, the council’s monitoring officer seeks and the member complained about can seek the views of a duly appointed independent person.
The council has up to three independent persons who are consulted under these procedures.
They also have a further role and are involved if the authority is considering dismissing one of its statutory officers (the head of paid service/chief executive, chief finance officer or monitoring officer).
Independent persons are able to act objectively, impartially and in confidence, making reasoned judgements based on evidence.
They have a demonstrable interest in local democracy and local government, with enthusiasm to develop a sound understanding of the ethical and regulatory framework relating to member standards.
The independent person role is not salaried, but receives a payment in respect of time on a complaint case. An independent person is initially appointed for a period of up to four years.
People cannot be appointed as an independent person if they are an elected member or an officer of the authority or either of its parish councils (or the relative or close friend of one) or have been so in the last five years. They must not be a member of a political party/politically active, or an employee of the council.
The council is not currently looking for people to fill this role, but does so periodically. If you are interested in appointment and would like more information about this appointment, please email the monitoring officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.