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Job Specification

Job Specification for the role of Independent Person for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.


The role

To consider complaints made against Members, Co-opted Members and/or Town/Parish Councillors, and to provide comments to the Monitoring Officer and, where applicable, the Audit and Governance Committee before either takes a decision on whether there has been a breach of the Code of Conduct and whether further investigation is necessary.

Views may also be sought on a complaint:

  • Where it is believed there has not been a breach of the Code of Conduct.
  • By a member, co-opted member or town/parish councillor of this authority if that person’s behaviour is subject to a complaint.

The Independent Person is also expected to:

  • Attend meetings of the Audit and Governance Committee and sub-committees as and when required.
  • Be a role model and champion of ethics and standards and the Council’s Code of Conduct for elected members.
  • Participate in relevant training and development.

The appointment is for a four-year term.

The person

The ideal candidate for the position of Independent Person will have:

  • A knowledge of, and commitment to, high standards of ethics and standards.
  • A high level of personal integrity.
  • Good analytical skills, and the ability to demonstrate clarity of thought and to assimilate information quickly and arrive at balanced judgements.
  • Independence of mind, objectivity and impartiality.
  • Good interpersonal skills, including good written and oral communication skills, the ability to co-operate with others and tact and diplomacy in handling sensitive matters.
  • Political awareness.
  • A keen interest in local governance.
  • An ability to work as part of a team.
  • Previous experience of adjudication or investigation of complaints is desirable.

Special conditions

The Independent person:

  • Must not be connected to a political party.
  • Will be required to observe the Council’s rules about keeping confidential any information which he/she may receive which is not in the public domain.
  • Will receive an allowance of £800 per annum.

A person is not eligible for appointment if they:

  1. are, or have been within the past 5 years, a Member, co-opted Member or officer of the Council;
  2. are, or have been within the past 5 years, a Member, co-opted Member or officer of a parish/town council within the Borough,
  3. are a close relative, or friend, of a person within points a or b above; or
  4. are actively involved in local political party activity.

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