LOCAL Government Minister Marcus Jones has set out plans to strengthen rules to prevent anyone found guilty of serious crimes from serving on local councils.
Under the planned changes to criteria, it would ensure those who represent their communities are held to the highest possible standards.
Current rules make clear that anyone convicted of an offence carrying a prison sentence of more than three months is banned from serving as a local councillor.
However, Mr Jones said that while this may have prevented criminals from becoming councillors, it does not reflect modern sentencing practices.
New rules could mean anyone given an Anti Social Behaviour Injunction, a Criminal Behaviour Order or added to the sex offenders’ register, would no longer be able to hold elected office in their communities.
Local Government Minister Marcus Jones said: “Councillors hold an important position of trust and authority in communities across England. We need to hold them to the highest possible standards.
The current rules are letting residents and councils down by not preventing people who should never be considered for such roles from standing for election.
The changes the government is proposing would help make sure anyone convicted of a serious crime, regardless of whether it comes with a custodial sentence, will not be able to serve as a councillor.
Current barriers to becoming a councillor include being employed by the authority, being subject to a bankruptcy order or being convicted of an offence resulting in a prison sentence.