"Our vision is that the people of Ceredigion will have trust and confidence that all those elected to office in local government in our county will work to the highest ethical and moral standards in serving their community".
Ethics & Standards Committee's Vision Statement, February 2012
What does the Ethics & Standards Committee do?
The Local Government Act 2000 sets out the functions of the Ethics & Standards Committee as follows:-
- promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by Councillors
- assisting Councillors to observe the Code of Conduct
- advising the Council on the adoption or revision of the Code of Conduct
- monitoring the operation of the Code of Conduct, and
- advising, training or arranging to train Councillors on matters relating to the Code of Conduct
The Ethics & Standards Committee can also grant dispensations, which permit Councillors who have an interest in a particular item of Council business to continue to take part in that business.
Investigation reports produced by the Ombudsman or the Council's Monitoring Officer on alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct may be referred to the Ethics & Standards Committee for determination.
The Ethics & Standards Committee also exercises the above responsibilities in relation to Town and Community Councils in Ceredigion.
Examples of the type of work carried out by Ceredigion's Ethics & Standards Committee include:
- involvement in developing training materials on the Code, including a flowchart summarising the main provisions of the Code
- attendance at and participation in training sessions on the Code for both the County Council and Community Councils
- attendance at Council and Committee meetings to observe proceedings
- the introduction of procedures which allow Councillors to attend Committee meetings to present an application for dispensation in person
- providing advice to Councillors regarding dispensation applications
Who are the Ethics & Standards Committee members?
The Ethics & Standards Committee has 9 members in total, comprising of 5 independent members, 2 County Councillors and 2 Community Council representatives. The Committee is required by law to have a majority of independent members who must not be members or officers of Ceredigion County Council or any other local authority. The Committee must be chaired by an independent member.
Vacancies for independent members are advertised in the local press and appointments are made on the recommendation of a selection panel, which must include one lay panel member, who must not be, nor have been, a member or officer of any local authority.
The current members of the Ethics & Standards Committee are listed below:-
- Mr Hywel Jones (Chair / independent member)
- Mrs Caroline White (Vice Chair / independent member)
- Ms Carol Edwards (Independent Member)
- Mr John Weston (Independent Member)
- Mr Rif Winfield (independent member)
- Councillor J.T.O. Davies (Ceredigion County Council)
- Councillor D.J. Mason (Ceredigion County Council)
- Councillor Julian Evans (Community Council representative)
- Councillor Gill Hopley (Community Council representative)
When does the Ethics & Standards Committee meet?
The Ethics & Standards Committee has scheduled bimonthly meetings, usually on the second Friday of the month. Meetings can also be convened at other times in order to consider dispensation applications or other urgent business. Please refer to the schedule of meetings for further details.
Ethics and Standards Committee Decisions
One of the functions of the Ethics & Standards Committee is to consider investigation reports produced by the Ombudsman or the Council's Monitoring Officer on alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by County Councillors or Community Councillors.
Where the Ethics & Standards Committee determines that a member has failed to comply with the Code of Conduct, it may determine that:-
- no action needs to be taken in respect of that failure
- the member should be censured, or
- the member should be suspended or partially suspended from being a member for a period not exceeding 6 months
A member may appeal against a determination of the Ethics & Standards Committee to the Adjudication Panel for Wales.
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