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Kemp wants Standards Board scrapped

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The leader of the Liberal Democrats in local government has called for the scrapping of the Standards Board for England and local standards committees.

Richard Kemp has written to Local Government minister John Healey calling for the closure on three grounds:

  • There is no evidence that any of them have had any effect in improving behavioral standards

  • There is some evidence that they have encouraged people to make malicious claims about councillors for the benefit of a sound bite.

  • The standard of decisions that are made by officers inside and outside councils relating to standards issues is "diabolically low".

The call comes within days of the board clearing Warren Bradley, the leader of Liverpool City Council of allegations including bullying.

Cllr Kemp adds: "Chief Executives and Monitoring Officers make arbitrary decisions based on a whim about what action to take in what circumstances. The element of training for officers is scandalously low.

He is calling for action in improving standards by:

  • Spending the money currently wasted on the SBE and committees on improved training for officers and members alike, saying the IDeA could take the lead.

  • The government setting a challenge to all the political parties about standards and providing funding through the agencies to the parties to develop their own training and support mechanisms.

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