Constitution - Part 2J - Standards Committee



1.1 The Standards Committee will meet at least once a year and then on an ad hoc basis as required and is responsible for maintaining high standards of conducts by members, advising on the revision and operation of the member code of conduct and investigating any complaints under the code.

2.1 The functions of the Standards Committee are to:

(a) Promote and maintain high standards of conduct by councillors ('members') and co-opted members.

(b) Assist the members and co-opted members to observe the Members' Code of Conduct arranging training as necessary.

(c) Advise the Council on the revision of the Members' Code of Conduct.

(d) Grant dispensations to members and co-opted members from requirements relating to interests set out in the Members' Code of Conduct that have not been delegated to the County Council's Monitoring Officer. (paragraph 6.10)

(e) Receive referrals from the Monitoring Officer in relation to urgent dispensations granted under his/her delegated powers.

(f) Deal with written allegations that a member or co-opted member (or former member or co-opted member) of the County Council has failed, or may have failed, to comply with the Members' Code of Conduct.

(g) Amend from time to time as it considers appropriate the arrangements to be followed in the initial consideration, investigation or hearing of any complaint of a breach of the Members' Code of Conduct (including the assessment criteria for determining whether any complaint should be investigated).

(h) Take any of the actions set out in the next section to these delegations in respect of any member who after investigation the Committee decides has failed to comply with the Members' Code of Conduct.

2.2 Actions delegated to the Standards Committee on a finding that a member has failed to comply with the Code of Conduct are:

(a) Issue a formal censure;

(b) Recommend to Council the issue of a formal censure by the Council;

(c) Refer its findings to Council for information;

(d) Publish its findings by such means as the Committee thinks fit;

(e) Recommend to the Council that the member be removed from any or all Committees or Sub-Committees (subject to the approval of the member's Group Leader if applicable);

(f) Recommend to the Council that the member be removed from being the chair or vice -chair of any Committees or Sub-Committee;

(g) Recommend to the Leader of the Council that the member be removed from the Cabinet, or from particular portfolio responsibilities;

(h) Recommend to the Council (or to the Cabinet or any Committee of the Council) that the member be removed from one or more outside appointments to which she/he has been appointed or nominated by the Council; and

(i) Instruct the Monitoring Officer to offer training to the member.

3.1 The Standards Committee will be composed of five members of the County Council (excluding the Leader and Deputy Leader), and two persons who are not a member or officer of the Council (independent members).

3.2 No more than one Cabinet member may sit on the Standards Committee.

3.3 The Chair and Vice-Chair will be the independent members referred to above.