Labour councillors have agreed to re-engage with the local standards regime that investigates and decides complaints against elected councillors after last night's Full Council meeting agreed to remove the Conservative majority on the standards committee - or Leader's Panel - in favour of a non-politically balanced membership with an independent Chair.
Labour councillors withdrew from the Leader’s Panel a year ago following concerns that the standards regime had been discredited by what was perceived as partisan outcomes in recent complaint hearings. Former Leader of the Labour Group and member of the Constitution, Ethics and Probity Committee, Cllr Alison Moore, has campaigned for a return to a non-partisan, independently chaired Standards Committee for the last two years, but this was repeatedly opposed by the Barnet Tories until last night.
Following the Full Council decision, there will be a new Standards Committee comprising two councillors from the administration group, two councillors from the opposition group and an independent Chair.
In her speech on the issue, Cllr Alison Moore said: “I welcome the proposals – they are a common sense arrangement and one that I have argued for repeatedly since the abolition of the old standards regime some five years ago.
“We need a standards process with integrity that will command the confidence of members across the chamber, and – equally important – of the residents of Barnet.
“They need to be confident that when a legitimate complaint against a councillor is made that it will be investigated and, if appropriate, heard in accordance with a process that is fair, transparent and just – which is, and is seen to be, above party political interests.
“That clearly was not the case under the previous arrangements and that was to the detriment of this council and its reputation.”
1. The new Standards Regime agreed at Full Council:
2. For more on this issue see:
For more information contact:
Cllr Alison Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org;
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568