All Mansfield District Councillors to undergo criminal background checks

All Mansfield District Councillors are to undergo a criminal background check.

By Danielle Andrews
Monday, 17th June 2019, 10:18 am
Newly elected conservative councillor Lee Anderson proposed themotion
Newly elected conservative councillor Lee Anderson proposed themotion

Previously, elected members were not required to be checked under the disclosure and barring service (DBS), with the exception of Adoption Panel membership.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks allow an employer to carry out a criminal record check of candidates to prevent unsuitable people working with vulnerable people or in areas of trust.

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Calls for Mansfield councillors to undergo criminal background checks
Newly elected conservative councillor Lee Anderson proposed themotion

The checks, which were formally known as Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks, are currently not essential for district councillors.

Ashfield District Council introduced the checks for councillors in 2016, who paid for them out of their own pockets.

This was implemented in May 2017.

Newly elected conservative councillor Lee Anderson proposed a motion for all current and future councillors to undergo the checks, which was due to be heard at the full council meeting in July.

However, the motion will no longer be heard at full council, as Mansfield District Council has agreed to the policy.

Coun Anderson said this is 'great news', and it is the 'right thing to do'.

Coun Anderson added: "I delighted to announce that MDC have contacted me to say that there is now no need to hear the motion at full council as they have agreed a policy to now DBS check all councillors.

"I am delighted, this is the right thing to do. Councillors should be accountable, and this gives residents the confidence that their councillors have nothing to hide.

"When I first became a councillor in Ashfield a few years back I was amazed at the lack of background checks, in fact there were no checks at all.

"I thought this was unacceptable as working as a councillor you will come into contact with members of the public and vulnerable people. I am not saying for one minute that anyone with a criminal record should be barred from standing for office as I believe we all deserve a chance to change, that is of course apart from the really vile crimes committed.

"I put a motion to my political group at Ashfield to have all councillors DBS checked, this was accepted and taken to full council where it was passed a few years later, I was annoyed that I was not allowed to take the motion to full council myself but the end result was the same. My original motion was passed and now all councillors at Ashfield have to be DBS checked."

Coun Anderson is now looking for cross party support to pass his motion to provide two hours free parking in Mansfield town centre, in a bid to boost footfall.