Ethics and Engagement Committee Terms of Reference
Ethics and Engagement Committee
The Council will appoint an
Ethics and Engagement Committee.
- The Ethics and Engagement Committee will comprise nine
councillors appointed annually from among their number.
- The Leader of the
Council shall be excluded from taking part in matters directly
relating to complaints made against members of the Council, but
shall be allowed to be appointed and to act as a member of the
Committee in all other matters.
- The Ethics and Engagement Committee will be appointed in
accordance with political proportionality rules.
- The Ethics and Engagement Committee and/or Monitoring Officer
must consult the Independent Person on matters relating to the
Members’ Code of Conduct and dispensations.
- The Ethics and Engagement Committee can invite the
Independent Person to attend Ethics and
Engagement Committee meetings and meetings of the Assessment
and Hearing Sub-Committees. The Committee may also invite the
Independent Person to speak at the Committee’s meetings but
he or she will not be entitled to vote on any matters.
- The Committee shall
meet at least quarterly unless otherwise agreed.
- The quorum for the
Committee shall be three councillors.
Role and Function
The Ethics and
Engagement Committee will have the following roles and
promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct
by elected and co-opted members.
assisting Councillors in observing the
Members’ Code of Conduct.
advising the Council on the adoption or revision of
the Members’ Code of Conduct.
Monitoring the operation of the Members’ Code
Advising, training or arranging to train Councillors
on matters relating to the Members’ Code of
Assess and hear any cases of an alleged breach of
the Members’ Code of Conduct.
Granting dispensations to members on the following
that so many members of the decision making body
have Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in a matter that it would
“impede the transaction of the business”. In practice
this means that the decision making body would be inquorate as a result.
That without the dispensation, the representation of
different political groups on the body transacting the business
would be so upset as to alter the outcome of any vote on the
That the authority considers that the dispensation
is in the interests of persons living in the authority’s
That, without a dispensation, no member of the
Executive would be able to participate on the matter, or
That the authority considers that it is otherwise
appropriate to grant a dispensation.
To decide upon and authorise allowances for
To consider matters relating to the governance of
the Council and ethical conduct by councillors, and propose
relevant guidance if appropriate.
To monitor councillor development and offer guidance
intended to improve its efficacy, value, or delivery.
To develop innovative and effective proposals to
improve democratic engagement.
Code of Conduct Hearings
The following panels will be
appointed as and when required:
Assessment Sub-Committee which will:
assess any alleged breach of the member code of
conduct which has been referred to them by the Monitoring Officer,
in consultation with the Independent Person.
Hearing Sub-Committee which will:
hear any cases against an alleged breach of the
member code of conduct.
be authorised to impose one or more of the following
sanctions, if thought appropriate:
reporting its findings to Council.
recommending to the member’s Group Leader (or
in the case if un-grouped members, recommend to Council or to
Committees) that he/she be removed from any or all Committees or
Sub-Committees of the Council.
recommending to the Leader of the Council that the
member be removed from Executive or removed from particular
instructing the Monitoring Officer to arrange
training for the member.
removing the member from all outside bodies to which
they have been appointed.
withdrawing facilities provided to the member by the
Council, such as computer, website and/or email or internet
excluding the member from Council offices or other
premises, with the exception of meeting rooms as necessary for
attending Council, Committees or Sub-Committees.
Assessment Sub-Committee and Hearing Sub-Committee will each
comprise three members appointed proportionally.