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Cornwall Council’s standards committee welcomes proposed new powers to deal with ‘unethical’ behaviour

Proposed new powers for councils to deal with unethical behaviour from councillors have been welcomed by Cornwall Council’s Standards Committee.

Member of the committee worked with the national Committee on Standards in Public Life to help draw up the new report.

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It follows a resolution by Cornwall Council in 2016 to help work to resolve issues created by the introduction of a new ethical standards regime in 2012.

The new powers would include handing councils the ability to suspend members if they are found to have breached the Code of Conduct.

At its meeting held on 25 April 2019 the Standards Committee welcomed the report produced by the Committee on Standards in Public Life entitled ‘Local Government Ethical Standards – A Review by the Committee on Standards in Public Life’.

The Chairman of the Standards Committee, councillor Paul Wills, said: “After Cornwall Council asked the Standards Committee to work with the appropriate external bodies over the issues arising from the ethical standards regime introduced in 2012, the Standards Committee has worked hard to help to bring about these changes. 

“We are particularly pleased that there are proposals within the report relating to the re-introduction of suspensions for breaches of the Code of Conduct, it is something the committee pushed hard for. 

“We also welcome the proposals which will give back the right to vote to the lay members on the Standards Committee who represent Town and Parish Councils and the wider community.”

The Standards Committee has formed a working group to consider those parts of the report that can be implemented without the need for a change in the law and will be seeking to maintain the close links that have been established the Committee on Standards in Public Life.