Bassetlaw District Council commits to standard DBS checks for all Councillors

Bassetlaw District Council will apply for standard DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks for all its elected Councillors, following a motion to Council on 22nd June 2023. This means that all Councillors will be DBS checked to see if they have any spent and unspent convictions and cautions.

Councillor Josie Potts who proposed the motion said:

“As Councillors we work on behalf of residents, including supporting vulnerable people in accessing services and helping with issues. A lot of this work can take place face to face and sometimes in people’s homes. When I was a cleaner in a school we were Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checked and I think it’s important that we now get all Councillors DBS checked. It’s in the best interests of our residents and the public for Councillors to be formally vetted.”

Councillor Lynne Schuller, Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing who seconded the motion said:

“Getting standard DBS checks for Councillors offers an added layer of protection for our residents and lets people know and understand that we as Councillors are not subject to previous criminal records and are not barred from working with children or adults.

“In a world of great uncertainty, where trust has been lost within many sectors, including our Parliament, this motion can serve to give our communities greater reassurance and can provide a further safeguard.”

The full motion put to Council is as follows:

Proposed by Councillor J Potts and seconded by Councillor L Schuller:

“This Council has noted, with horror, recent high-profile cases in the news – most notably involving the police – which have demonstrated that authorities have missed opportunities to stop criminal behaviour. It also notes that due to the varied roles and responsibilities of being a councillor, there is regular contact between elected members and the public, including one-to-one contact in private spaces.

“This Council, therefore, concludes that it would be in its best interest and in the best interests of the public for all elected members to be formally vetted.

“While recognising that checks cannot mitigate the risk of criminal behaviour happening, the Council resolves to fund and commence standard DBS checks for all newly-elected councillors as part of its onboarding processes, and compels all councillors to consent to such checks being undertaken.

“This Council also resolves to complete similar checks following all future District Council elections, including any by-elections that occur during the 2023-27 administration.”

* Advice has been sought from the Council’s s.151 Officer, and that advice is set out as follows;

The costs may be contained within the overall contingency budget for 2023/24 and then similar for future years as required.

Last Updated on Wednesday, January 10, 2024