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CSPL to help ‘safeguard democracy’ with review into ethical standards in local government

The Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL), an independent government advisory committee, is to open consultation on ethical standards in local government.

The CSPL will review the structures and practices of all authorities in the country in an attempt to improve standards.

The consultation is specifically aimed at maintaining standards and ensuring ethical practices continue, as well as to “safeguard local democracy.”

Public consultation on the subject begins from this week and will run until 18 May taking in all levels of local government including the Greater London Authority (GLA) and all combined authorities.

Dr Jane Martin, leader of the review, said it was important to analyse these issues and give the public “confidence that the standards arrangements supporting local democracy are working effectively.”

She explained that the committee is regularly in receipt of correspondence from the public expressing concerns on the issue of local government ethical standards and has maintained an interest in it.

“We are keen to hear first-hand how effective councils’ standards arrangements are, in light of the substantial changes in the standards landscape for local government over the last ten years,” she explained.

“We are interested in how local authorities have designed their complaints handling, scrutiny and sanctions regimes in order to maintain excellent ethical standards and how members, local government officials and the public experience them.”

The committee is calling for evidence from both councils and individuals and intends to publish findings later in the year.

Top image: Robert Ingelhart

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