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Parish Councils

Deputy Prime Minister written question – answered on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan Conservative, Blaby

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his Department directs the Standards Board for England to consider the benefit to the public interest when (a) determining whether to pursue investigations against parish councillors and (b) pursuing those investigations.

Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

When considering allegations of misconduct, the Standards Board for England operates within the statutory framework of the Local Government Act 2000 and related Regulations. In considering whether to refer an allegation for investigation, the Board considers whether the allegation is serious enough to justify a referral for investigation, and if a national or local investigation would be justified. The purpose of an investigation, carried out by an ethical standards officer, appointed by the Standards Board, is to make a finding as to whether or not the code of conduct for members has been breached and what further action if any needs to be taken. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not have powers to intervene in particular cases and does not do so.

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