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Standards committee to publish annual report

Published 9th April 2018

The annual report of the committee dealing with standards matters at Sandwell Council will be published tomorrow (Tuesday).

In it, the chairperson of the committee talks about how the council is limited in law regarding what action can be taken against members.

Chairperson of the Ethical Standards and Member Development Committee Councillor Geoff Lewis said it was important people knew that the council had no power to sack or suspend councillors – and that could only happen in limited circumstances when criminal charges were brought.

“This year has been a busy and challenging one for the committee involving considerable work dealing effectively with standards matters with the limited powers available to the committee under the law,” he said.

“It’s important to remember that the standards issues the committee has dealt with apply to a very small number of elected members.

“The conduct of the vast majority of elected and co-opted members has been, as we would expect, exemplary.

“The committee and its sub committees have demonstrated considerable resolve, often under immense pressure and scrutiny. They have considered each case on the evidence presented and they have managed complaints by adopting a robust but fair and open approach.”

The committee, made up of eight councillors plus three independent people dealt with standards cases relating to complaints against councillors during 2017/18.

The committee will now take part in a Government consultation, led by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, setting out proposals to revise the current standards regime and give councils more power to deal with breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Annual Report of the Ethical Standards and Member Development Committee