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Council seeks Independent Persons for Ethical Standards role

06 January 2023 : Council news, Community

Are you able to act objectively, impartially and in confidence, making reasoned judgements based on evidence?

Do you have a demonstrable passion for local democracy and local government, and an enthusiasm to develop a sound understanding of the ethical and regulatory framework relating to member standards?

Then this role could be for you.

As required under the Localism Act 2011, the new Somerset Council will operate with an adopted Elected Members’ Code of Conduct, which reflects the seven Nolan Principles of Public Life. These are: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

The Council will promote and maintain these high standards of conduct through its Monitoring Officer and its Standards Committee.

It will have arrangements in place for dealing with any allegations that the code has been broken by its elected members, or co-opted members.

The Council will also be responsible for dealing with complaints that City, Town, or Parish councillors in Somerset have breached their particular council’s Code of Conduct.

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.

Independent Persons have a further role, in that they must be consulted if the Council is considering disciplining or dismissing one of its statutory officers, such as its Chief Executive, Chief Finance Officer or Monitoring Officer.

The new Somerset Council is seeking to appoint three Independent Persons.

To apply for the role, candidates must be independent of the Council.

They cannot be an elected councillor or an employee of the local authority, or of its City, Town and Parish Councils (or the relative or close friend of one) in the last five years. And they must not be a member of a political party or be politically active.

The posts receive an annual allowance of £1,000 and travel and subsistence payments can also be claimed. They will initially be appointed for a period of up to four years.

For an informal discussion about the roles please contact: either Scott Wooldridge scott.wooldridge@somerset.gov.uk or on 01823 359043 or David Clark david.clark@mendip.gov.uk or on 01749 341539.

To apply for the position, you will need to send in a copy of your CV and a short supporting personal statement (not more than a side of A4) stating why you think you are qualified for the role.

Please email your completed application to: democraticservicesteam@somerset.gov.uk

The closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 27 January 2023 with interviews taking place in the week commencing 30 January 2023.

A full job description can be found here: Independent Persons – DAS Jobs