The Ombudsman’s report concerned a complaint that the Councillor had been convicted of drug driving and it was reported in a newspaper that she did not intend to stand down as Mayor.
The Standards Committee concluded that the Councillor had breached paragraph 6(1)(a) of the Code of Conduct – namely, that members must not conduct themselves in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing their office or authority into disrepute.
Accordingly, the Standards Committee decided that the Councillor should be suspended for 2 months and be required to attend Code of Conduct training within 6 months.
The Local Government Act 2000 provides us with the statutory powers to investigate allegations that members of local authorities in Wales have breached their Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct for elected members is intended to maintain high standards in public life and includes the requirement that elected members should not bring their authority or their office as a councillor into disrepute.
Where our investigation finds that the evidence suggests that a member has breached the Code of Conduct and further action is required in the public interest, we may refer the matter to either the Adjudication Panel for Wales or a local Standards Committee for consideration.
Where the Adjudication Panel for Wales decides that a member has breached the Code of Conduct it may suspend a member from office for up to 12 months or disqualify the member from holding office for up to 5 years.
Where a Standards Committee decides that a member has breached the Code of Conduct it may suspend a member from office for up to 6 months or issue the member with a censure. Where a member subject to a referral to a Standards Committee no longer holds office as a member the standards committee may only censure the member.