Champions of local democracy sought for Council’s Standards Committee

Hackney Town Hall

The Council is on the lookout for local democracy champions to play a crucial role as part of Hackney’s Standards Committee. 

An independent person - who is not a Councillor or local authority employee - is needed to join the committee, as well as two and up to four co-opted members. 

The Committee, which is made up of seven Councillors, six non-elected co-opted members, and the independent person, is responsible for promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct for members. 

Dawn Carter-McDonald, the Council’s Director of Legal and Governance, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to play a hugely important role in upholding high standards of public life in Hackney. 

“With the Council continuing to work on the borough’s recovery as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that we have a Standards regime which is fit for purpose and upholds ethical standards in public life . 

“A passion for local democracy and making a difference in the borough is essential.”

The Committee meets twice a year, but members may be called upon to provide additional services as the need arises. 

In addition, an Independent Person is legally required to be involved in consideration of potential breaches of the Member Code of Conduct and provide the monitoring officer with an independent view with regard to such matters. The Independent Person will also be consulted and make recommendations where the Council is considering dismissing its key statutory officers. 

To ensure your voice is truly independent, the law rules you out for this role if you are or have been within the last five years, a member, co-opted member or employee of the Council, or you are a relative or close friend of anyone who has been. 

The Independent Person post carries an allowance of £487.36 per year, and reasonable expenses in attending meetings will also be paid. The appointment will be for five years.

The Council is looking for independent applicants who:

  • Can offer the profile and experience which the community would recognise and respect as bringing an independent and informed perspective to the consideration of complaints about member conduct
  • Are familiar with ethical questions and the development and interpretation of codes of conduct
  • Have good analytical and interpersonal skills
  • Experience of decision making skills involving sensitive issues
  • Are objective, impartial and have a high level of integrity
  • Are independent of any political party.

The co-opted positions carry a small remuneration of £117.67 per Standards Committee meeting and reasonable expenses in attending meetings will also be paid. The appointment will be for a period of four years.

These representatives are not elected members of the Council, and are appointed because of their level of knowledge and experience, such as headteachers or representatives from local religious groups.

The closing date for applications has been extended until Friday, 21 May. 

If you would like to have an informal discussion about either role, you can contact Dawn Carter-McDonald by email on Dawn.Carter-McDonald@hackney.gov.uk, or Clifford Hart - Senior Governance Services Officer by email on Clifford.hart@hackney.gov.uk 

You can find out more information about the roles on our website and apply by filling out the Council’s online form or by emailing Clifford Hart, Senior Governance Services Officer, on Clifford.Hart@hackney.gov.uk.