The South Thanet Conservative Association would like to add to the current debate about Thanet District Council standards and the sentiments expressed by the leader of the Conservative Group Cllr Bob Bayford, by suggesting that the Council could consider the following changes to the way in which they administer a system to deal with complaints against Councillors.
We would suggest that in order for a standards committee to be independent and be seen to be independent:-
The Standards committee should be completely at arm’s length from both Councillors and officers.
There should be no Councillors on the committee.
The Committee should have total autonomy on how it operates within a written constitution.
The Committee should decide who it interviews and what evidence it calls.
The Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer should be responsible for selecting Standards Committee members.
Penalties should range between a rebuke for minor infringements to suspension and or fines.
The costs of investigation should be borne by those complained against, if found wanting.