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(1)Where the members of the Commission conducting a hearing find that a councillor has contravened the councillors’ code or a member of a devolved public body the members’ code, they shall impose one of the following sanctions—
(a)censuring, but otherwise taking no action against, the councillor or member;
(b)suspending, for a period not exceeding one year, the councillor’s or member’s entitlement to attend one or more but not all of the following—
(i)all meetings of the council or body;
(ii)all meetings of one or more committees or sub-committees of the council or body;
(iii)all meetings of any other body on which the councillor or member is a representative or nominee of the council or body;
(c)suspending, for a period not exceeding one year, the councillor’s or member’s entitlement to attend meetings of the council or body and of any committee or sub-committee thereof and of any other body on which the councillor or member is a representative or nominee of the council or body;
(d)in the case of a councillor, disqualifying the councillor for a period not exceeding five years, from being, or from being nominated for election as, or from being elected, a councillor;
(e)in the case of a member of a devolved public body, removing the member from membership of the body and disqualifying the member, for a period not exceeding five years, from membership of the body.
(2)A period of suspension imposed under subsection (1)(b) or (c) above which would continue until or after the day of the next following ordinary election of councillors shall end at the beginning of that day.
(3)Disqualification imposed under subsection (1)(d) above—
(a)has the effect of vacating the councillor’s office; and
(b)extends to the councillor’s membership of committees and sub-committees of the council of which the councillor was a member and any joint committee, joint board or other body on which the councillor is a representative or nominee of the council.
(4)Where the members of the Commission disqualify, under subsection (1)(d) above, a councillor who is also a member of a devolved public body otherwise than as a representative or nominee of the council, they may also, in respect of that membership, remove and disqualify that person under subsection (1)(e) above and, where the councillor is also the Water Industry Commissioner for Scotland, they may also impose the sanction in section 25(12)(b) below.
(5)The members of the Commission, on removing and disqualifying a member of a devolved public body under subsection (1)(e) above, may—
(a)where the member is a councillor, disqualify that person under subsection (1)(d) above;
(b)direct that the removal from membership and disqualification apply also in respect of any other devolved public body of which the member is a member; or
(c)where the member is the Water Industry Commissioner for Scotland, impose the sanction in section 25(12)(b) below.
(6)The members of the Commission may, on imposing a suspension under subsection (1)(b) or (c) above on a member of a devolved public body, direct that any remuneration or allowance deriving from membership of the body that would be payable to the member be not paid or be reduced as they direct.
(7)The powers to remove and disqualify a person from membership of a devolved public body under subsections (4) and (5)(b) above are exercisable as respects that body only after the members’ code applicable to that body first has effect.
(8)The Commission shall, after consulting such association of local authorities and any such other bodies or persons as it thinks fit, issue guidance to councils on the extent to which a councillor should engage in activities (other than those mentioned in subsection (1)(c) above) which are, or may be perceived to be, the activities of a councillor during a period of suspension.
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