Standards committee

The Standards Committee is responsible for the ethical conduct of borough councillors and councillors of parish/town councils within the borough. The main functions of the standards committee are to:

  • advise the borough council on the adoption of appropriate codes of conduct and protocols governing the conduct of councillors
  • ensure that both borough councillors receive training on the codes of conduct and protocols
  • consider, and in appropriate cases determine, allegations that a councillor (whether borough or parish/town) has infringed the code of conduct for members

The council’s standards committee is made up of four independent persons (not councillors), three borough councillors and one parish councillor. The current membership of the standards committee is available online.

The borough council’s code of conduct for members is set out in the council’s constitution as is the terms of reference of the standards committee. The Code of Conduct for councillors of parish/town councils is in very similar terms to the code of conduct for borough councillors.

Consideration of complaints

The Localism Act 2011 requires the council to put in place arrangements for the consideration and determination of complaints that a councillor or co-opted member has contravened the Code of Conduct for members. The main elements of the arrangements are that:

  • upon receipt of a complaint the Monitoring Officer will forward a copy to the independent Chairman of the Standards Committee
  • following consultation with the Chairman, the Monitoring Officer will decide whether:
    • the complaint merits investigation
    • to seek to resolve the complaint without formal investigation
    • to take no action
  • if the matter is referred for investigation the Monitoring Officer will appoint an investigator and will also seek the views of the Independent Person (or his/her reserve) whom the Council is required to appoint by the Localism Act
  • if an investigation finds no evidence of failure to comply with the Code of Conduct the Monitoring Officer may, after consideration with the Chairman, close the matter
  • if an investigation finds that there has been a breach of the Code of Conduct the Monitoring Officer may either:
    • following consultation with the Chairman and the Independent Person seek to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the complainant, or
    • where seeking such a resolution is not appropriate (or a resolution cannot be approved) submit the complaint and investigation report for a full hearing before the Standards Committee to reach a view as to whether there has been a breach of the Code of Conduct and if so what sanctions should be imposed


The sanctions which may be imposed upon a councillor/co-opted member found to be in breach of the code are:

  • censoring the councillor/co-opted member
  • recommending to the councillors group leader (or in the case of “ungrouped” members, recommend to council or to committees) that he/she be removed from any or all committees or sub-committees
  • recommending to the Leader of the Council that the councillor be removed from the Executive, or removed from particular portfolio responsibilities
  • recommending that the councillor be removed from any or all outside appointments to which he/she has been appointed or nominated by the Leader of the Council
  • withdrawing facilities provided to the councillor/co-opted member by the council such as a computer or internet access
  • excluding the councillor/co-opted member from council premises, with the exception of meeting rooms as necessary for attending the council, the executive, committee and sub-committee meetings

If you have any comments on the workings of the Standards Committee, or you have a suggestion for improving the arrangements we have put in place, please contact the borough solicitor.

Further information

Council’s constitution

Current membership of the standards committee

Terms of reference of the standards committee

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