Applications are invited for a role which helps to ensure high standards of conduct in local government.
Durham County Council is looking to appoint two people to the role of Independent Person to assist the authority, as well as town and parish councils across the county, in maintaining high ethical standards.
Those appointed will be required to be available for consultation on alleged breaches of the Member Code of Conduct and to attend meetings (as required) of the Standards Committee to discuss and contribute to wider ethical and governance issues.
They will also be consulted on any proposal to dismiss one of the council’s statutory officers.
The roles are voluntary and unpaid. However, travelling and subsistence allowances are payable for attending meetings and training is provided. There is a requirement to attend at least two meetings a year and the term of office will run until 21 September 2023.
The role is suitable for those who:
- have a keen interest in standards in public life
- want to serve the local community and uphold democracy
- demonstrate high standards of personal integrity
- can be objective, independent and impartial
- have direct experience of implementing and upholding standards and/or dealing with complaints and customer care issues.
Helen Lynch, Durham County Council’s head of legal and democratic services, said: “It is very important that we maintain high standards of conduct in local government and appointing two people to this role will be invaluable in making sure that this continues to be the case.
“A full induction will be carried out and we will support those taking on the role to make sure they have all of the help and guidance needed.”
No formal qualifications are required. Applicants should be of good character and able to demonstrate the highest standard of personal integrity and conduct.
To ensure the independence of the role, applicants cannot be appointed as an Independent Person if they are currently or have been within the last five years a member, co-opted member or officer (or a relative or close friend of such a person) of Durham County Council or a town or parish council within County Durham.
For an application form or to arrange an informal discussion about the role email Democraticservices@durham.gov.uk or call 03000 26 000.
The closing date for applications is Friday 26 March, with interviews set to be held on Wednesday 21 April.