A special committee charged with ensuring high standards of public office are maintained by Wirral councillors faces being disbanded.

The leaders of the three town hall political groups are being asked to consider whether such a body is still needed.

A "standards working group" of councillors has been reviewing the authority's constitutional set-up.

A document studied by the group at its meeting on Monday questioned the need for the standards committee to convene five times per year, as it does at present.

It further questioned whether there was any necessity for the committee to even exist.

A report to the group said the introduction of a new standards regime from July of last year, and a revamped code of conduct, had seen a "significant reduction" in the number of complaints against councillors being received.

It said a "filtering process" undertaken by the acting director of law, Surjit Tour, had ensured only legitimate and valid complaints were investigated.

The report points out that under the Localism Act 2011, it was no longer a statutory requirement for the council to have a standards committee.

The paper noted Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority has abolished its watchdog committee.

Wirral Conservative group leader Cllr Jeff Green said he favours disbanding it.

He said: "It's just window dressing.

"When you consider all the problems encountered by Wirral Council during the last few years, you realise it was all going on and the standards committee failed to spot any of it.

"Rather than pretending it's an effective watchdog, we should just be honest and say it hasn't worked and we might as well get rid of it."

He said a new statutory protocol and conduct code ensures all councillors must respect the principles of public office.