Councillors' conduct

Independent Persons

The Independent Person is a position created under the Localism Act 2011 which introduced a regime for promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct amongst councillors. The Localism Act requires Oxford City Council to appoint one or more Independent Persons to assist the Monitoring Officer in dealing with complaints about councillors’ standards of behaviour and alleged breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct. 

In addition, The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 require the Council to invite relevant Independent Persons to join the Disciplinary Committee to consider evidence and provide advice on the course of action to follow whenever there is the prospect of dismissal of a statutory officer of the Council (these are the Chief Executive, Chief Finance Officer and Monitoring Officer).

The Council appoints up to four Independent Persons to assist in discharging these responsibilities in relation to Oxford City Council and the four parish councils in Oxford (Blackbird Leys, Littlemore, Old Marston, and Risinghurst & Sandhills Parish Councils).

Independent Persons cannot be related to, or be a close friend of current or former members or officers of the city or parish councils nor can they be engaged in political activity. This is an unpaid voluntary position for a five year term. No expenses are paid.

Currently the Council has four Independent Persons:

  • Chris Ballinger
  • Jill McCleery
  • Andrew Mills-Hicks
  • Osama Raja