Job Specification for the role of Independent Person for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
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 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.
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:
- are, or have been within the past 5 years, a Member, co-opted Member or officer of the Council;
- are, or have been within the past 5 years, a Member, co-opted Member or officer of a parish/town council within the Borough,
- are a close relative, or friend, of a person within points a or b above; or
- are actively involved in local political party activity.