Standards and appeals committee

The council, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, has established a standards and appeals committee to promote and maintain high standards of conduct amongst members of the borough council and co-opted members. An independent person has been appointed and will be consulted on the conduct of members in the event of a complaint being received.

The standards and appeals committee is currently responsible for the following main activities:

  • promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by councillors and co-opted members
  • assisting councillors and co-opted members to observe the code of conduct for members
  • advising the council on (i) the adoption of a code of conduct for members and supporting protocols and (ii) their revision or replacement
  • monitoring the operation of the code of conduct for members
  • advising, training or arranging to train councillors and co-opted members on matters relating to the code of conduct for members
  • granting dispensations to councillors and co-opted members
  • considering matters referred by the monitoring officer including those matters where he/she considers it is inappropriate for him/her to take the decision
  • the approval or otherwise for the purposes of Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 of the reason(s) for the failure of any member to attend meetings of the authority
  • overview of the whistle blowing policy and raising concerns at Amber Valley
  • overview of complaints handling and Ombudsman investigations
  • overview of the constitution in respect of standards and related matters
  • overview of the local code of good practice for councillors and officers dealing with planning matters
  • overview of the council's policy on bullying and harassment policy

Additional roles of the standards and appeals committee

Dealing with the following miscellaneous appeals:

  • (i) Appeals against disciplinary and redundancy matters by employees of the council
  • (ii) Appeals about housing matters
  • (iii) Discretionary housing payment matters
  • (iv) Discretionary rate relief and business rate hardship relief
  • (v) Appeals against rural rate relief
  • (vi) Appeals in relation to empty property council tax discount

Code of conduct

Pursuant to section 28(12) of the Localism Act 2011, the borough council on 20 June 2012 adopted a new code of conduct to take effect from 1 July 2012.

Complaints procedure

If you want to complain about the conduct of a member of Amber Valley Borough Council, you must submit your complaint in writing to:

The standards and appeals committee - Amber Valley Borough Council, Town Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5 3BT.

The standards and appeals committee can only deal with complaints about the behaviour of a member. It will not deal with complaints about things that are not covered by the members' code of conduct. If you make a complaint to the standards and appeals committee it must be about why you think a member has not followed the code of conduct, download a members code of conduct complaint form

Dispensations

Under Section 33 of the Localism Act 2011, dispensations can be granted to a member of the council in the following circumstances:

  1. When 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;
  2. 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 matter;
  3. That the authority considers that the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the authority's area;
  4. That, without a dispensation, no member of the cabinet would be able to participate on this matter; or
  5. That the authority considers that it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.

Any grant of a dispensation must specify how long it lasts for, up to a maximum of four years.

The council has delegated the power to grant dispensations to the standards and appeals committee or a dispensations sub-committee appointed by the sub-committee, or to the monitoring Officer. Items 1 and 4 will be dealt with by the monitoring officer under delegated powers.

You can apply for a dispensation by downloading and completing the dispensation application form and sending it to the monitoring officer. Please remember that dispensations have to be dealt with at a properly constituted meeting of the standards and appeals committee. Therefore you should allow sufficient time for that meeting to be called and proper notice given. Your application should be sent to the monitoring officer no less than 14 days before the date when the matter is to be considered.

Signed and completed forms should be sent to the monitoring officer, Amber Valley Borough Council, Town Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5 3BT. You can contact the monitoring officer on 01773 841397 or email chris.potter@ambervalley.gov.uk.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841631 or email rebecca.smith@ambervalley.gov.uk