14/03/2017 / Leave a comment / Permalink

Shropshire Council seeks ‘independent persons’

Related topics: Democracy

Shropshire Council is seeking to appoint at least two ‘independent persons’ to support the way it deals with allegations that a councillor has breached the council’s Code of Conduct.

The council has a duty to promote and maintain high ethical standards in the conduct of members of the council and of the parish/town councils in the area. This involves the adoption of a Code of Conduct with which such members are expected to comply.

The council is obliged to put in place local arrangements to deal with allegations that a member has breached the Code.

The role of the ‘independent persons’ will be to support these arrangements and:

  • will involve being consulted by the council before a decision is made on an allegation that it has investigated.
  • may involve being consulted by the council on allegations that it has decided not to investigate.
  • may involve being consulted by a member or co-opted member against whom a complaint has been made.
  • may involve being appointed to serve on a panel asked to advise the council on the proposed dismissal of the authority’s head of paid service, its monitoring officer or its chief finance officer.

Appointments are likely to be for a term of four years and previous experience in this area is not required. This is an unpaid position although travelling expenses may be claimed.

Eligibility

A person cannot be appointed as an ‘independent person’ if they are or were within a period of five years prior to the appointment:

  • a member, co-opted member or officer of the authority; or
  • a relative or close friend of a person in (a) above.

A ‘relative’ is defined as:

  • The candidate’s spouse or civil partner;
  • Any person with whom the candidate is living as if they were spouses or civil partners;
  • The candidate’s grandparent;
  • Any person who is a lineal descendant of the candidate’s grandparent;
  • A parent, brother, sister or child of anyone in paragraphs (a) or (b);
  • The spouse or civil partner of anyone within paragraphs (c), (d) or (e); or
  • Any person living with a person within paragraphs (c), (d) or (e) as if they were spouse or civil partner to that person.

The council will not consider applications from any persons who are actively engaged in local party political activity.

How to apply

If you are interested in being an ‘independent person’, please download, complete and return the application pack that can be found on the Shropshire Council website.

For any further information please contact Claire Porter, Monitoring Officer, on 01743 252763 or e-mail claire.porter@shropshire.gov.uk.

Application forms must be returned by Friday 24 March 2017.

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