Two volunteers are being sought to help ensure high standards of conduct among county, town and parish councillors across County Durham.
Applications are now open for two Independent Person posts to support Durham County Council’s monitoring officer and Standards Committee in their work to uphold the high ethical standards required of elected members in carrying out their duties.
The successful applicants may be consulted by the council’s monitoring officer when they are considering complaints made against councillors or co-opted members.
They may also be consulted by the councillor or co-opted member who is the subject of the complaint.
They will be consulted by the Standards Committee before it takes a decision on any complaint against a councillor that has resulted in an investigation, and on any proposal to dismiss one of the council’s statutory officers.
The successful candidates will be expected to attend at least two meetings of the Standards Committee a year and be available by telephone and email for consultation on complaints.
There is also a requirement to attend training periodically to ensure continuing competence for the role.
These roles are voluntary and unpaid, but the successful applicants will receive travelling and subsistence allowances, and a full induction with training will be provided.
The term of office will be two years from the date of appointment, with the option to extend for a further two years.
Helen Lynch, Durham County Council’s head of legal and democratic services, said: “The council has a duty to uphold high standards of conduct in local government and the Independent Persons play an important role in this.
“The roles are suitable for people who have a keen interest in standards in public life and want to serve the local community and uphold democracy.
“We’re looking for people who can demonstrate high standards of personal integrity and who have the ability to be objective, independent and impartial.
“We’d like to hear from people with direct experience of implementing and upholding standards or dealing with complaints and customer care issues.
“The successful candidates will get all the help and guidance they need to fulfil their roles.”
To ensure the independence of the roles, anyone who is or has been a member, co-opted member or an officer of Durham County Council or a town or parish council within County Durham within the last five years, or who is a relative or close friend of any member or officer of the county council or a town or parish council, is not eligible to apply.
For an application form contact Lucy Gladders, Senior Committee Services Officer, by emailing [email protected] or calling 03000 269 712.
The closing date for applications is Monday April 17, with interviews set to be held week commencing Monday, May 1.