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Standards and Ethics Committee

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Worcestershire councils are looking to appoint 'independent persons' who are fair-minded and politically impartial.

From 1 July, a new ethical regime for elected councillors and co-opted members has been introduced, as a result of the Localism Act 2011. All authorities across the country will be under a legal duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by its members and adopt a Code of Conduct. Investigating authorities must seek and take into account the views of 'Independent Person(s) before making a decision after investigation of an allegation that a member has breached the Code of Conduct.

Worcestershire County Council, Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council, Wychavon District Council, Wyre Forest District Council and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority are combining forces as they look to appoint up to six independent persons onto a panel from which individuals can then be selected by one of the authorities to advise on a particular complaint.

Simon Mallinson, Worcestershire County Council's Head of Legal and Democratic Services, said: "This is an important role and we'd like to hear from anyone who has an interest in good ethical governance in the public sector and someone who is truly independent, fair-minded and politically impartial."

To ensure independence from local government, current or recent members or employees of any principal local authority (County and District Councils etc), and some local parish and town councils, cannot be appointed, nor can their relatives or close friends.

To find out more or to apply, visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/standards and look under the heading 'Membership.' Alternatively, contact Simon Mallinson, Head of Legal and Democratic Services at Worcestershire County Council by emailsmallinson@worcestershire.gov.uk or by phone on 01905 766670 or Caroline Newlands, Director of Community Assets and Localism at Wyre Forest District Council by emailcaroline.newlands@wyreforestdc.gov.uk or by phone on 01562 732715.

Applications should be submitted to Simon Mallinson by 5.00pm on Monday 13 August 2012.

Interviews of shortlisted applicants will take place during office hours on Tuesday 21 August, or an alternative date could be agreed.