It is important that the public and organisations in our district have confidence in local democracy, and in those of our community who have been elected or appointed to serve on our local councils.

In this regard, the district council and all parish and town councils in the area have adopted a Code of Conduct, setting out how councillors should behave.

Our councillors are expected to live up to high standards of behaviour and demonstrating that they do so underpins public confidence in local democracy.

The Ethics Committee has a statutory responsibility for promoting high standards in local councillors, which it does through training and assisting councillors in their understanding of the Code of Conduct and Principles of Standards in Public Life.

The council's Monitoring Officer works with the Ethics Committee and, along with the Ethics Committee, has the responsibility for investigating and deciding on allegations that a councillor's behaviour may have breached the Code of Conduct. If a breach is found, the remedy will vary depending on the circumstances, but it could include a censure or a request to undergo training or issue an apology.

The committee is made up of seven councillors and two non-voting representatives from parish councils. One other important aspect of the ethical framework in the area is the Independent Person. This is a person appointed by the council to give a view on any complaints before a final decision is taken. The appointed person is completely independent from the council and is selected after a public advertisement.

There are links below to the following:

If you wish to make a complaint or have any concerns regarding the behaviour of a councillor, please contact Monitoring Officer Ken Miles. You can write to him at North Devon Council, Lynton House, Commercial Road, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 1DG email ken.miles@northdevon.gov.uk or phone 01271 388266.