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Kangaroo crossingGoing on the road
with the Standards Board
for England

Not a lot of people know this, but the Standards Board for England, like Radio One, has a roadshow. The staff of this flawed outfit are enjoying junkets around the country and the management is getting a chance to meet the customers. The board has sent booking forms to the monitoring officers of all local councils and they have been charged with co-ordinating attendance from their authorities.
   The only slight problem with this approach is that most independent councillors are unaware of the road shows because their particular monitoring officer is in thrall to the majority grouping on the council and more interested in causing trouble for independents than in giving them helpful, or even accurate, advice.
   [It should be noted that the above is a view expressed by a large number of independent councillors rather than Garbagegate doing a spot of trouble-making.]
   Places for the roadshows are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and each authority can send up to three councillors to one event. Anyone who isn't on good terms with their local monitoring officer and who wants to give the Standards Board a piece of their mind is advised to contact Benedict Business Resources [01483 205 432] for more information.

At the events, the Standards Board hopes to:

  • listen and respond to feedback and experiences of councillors, particularly where they have had local investigations or determinations;
  • talk about the next steps everyone needs to take in order to move the ethical agenda forward;
  • hear councillors' first-hand views on the review of the Code of Conduct and share with them the emerging themes;
  • discuss the characteristics of good practice and how it can be achieved;
  • tell councillors about improvements in the Standards Board's performance;
  • offer support and advice from the Standards Board's legal and policy teams.

The Roadshow events are intended to be 'an excellent opportunity to share news, views and feedback', and 'a good chance to network with monitoring officers and standards committee members'. The events will be held at:

  • Leeds, The Queens, 22 February 2005
  • Nottingham, Park Plaza Hotel, 24 February 2005
  • Tunbridge Wells, Salomons Conference Centre, 1 March 2005
  • Southampton, Novotel, 3 March 2005
  • Manchester, Thistle, 24 May 2005
  • Newcastle, Marriott, Metrocentre, 26 May 2005
  • Norwich, Marriott Sprowston Manor Hotel & Country Club, 7 June 2005
  • Birmingham, The Hyatt, 9 June 2005
  • Bristol, Novotel, 14 June 2005
  • Plymouth, The Copthorne Hotel, 16 June 2005
  • London, TBC, 21 June 2005

Standards Board for England ROADSHOW 2005 – Typical Programme
1.15pm Registration Tea and coffee will be available.
2.00pm Welcome and update A summary of key developments and progress since the Annual Assembly of Standards Committees in September 2004.
2.10pm Cracking the Code A review of the Code of Conduct was announced at last year's Annual Assembly of Standards Committees. Attendees' views are sought and emerging themes will be shared.
2.30pm The local agenda questions, answers and discussion A chance to share your early experiences of local investigations and hearings, as the ethical agenda takes on a more local focus, and discuss the issues raised so far.
3.15pm Break Tea and coffee will be served.
3.30pm What does an ethical authority look like? How do you get there? The Standards Board for England has contracted researchers to help define good practice and how it can be achieved. They will lead a discussion drawing upon the expertise and experience of those present.
4.30pm Open house surgery Representatives of the Standards Board for England's legal and policy team, along with the chief executive and board member, will be available to respond to individual questions.
5.00pm Close

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