Decision Maker: Members' Code of Conduct Committee
Decision status: Recommmend Forward to Council
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report that proposed a recommendation to Council the adoption of the new Local Government Association (LGA) Model Code of Conduct from the date of Annual Council.
The Group Head of Corporate Governance explained that the new code had developed over time after extensive consultation and had been designed to address the changing world and addressed more current issues such as the use of social media.
The Committee were advised that the development of the code had been centred around the work of the Committee for Standards in Public Life and the purpose of the Code was to ensure there would be a clear and consistent approach across all Councils at all levels. The Code would still be centred around the Nolan principles.
The Group Head of Corporate Governance explained that the Code encouraged Councils to take ownership of the Code and that standards and expectations of conduct were clearly defined.
The Committee noted that the Code paid particular attention to ensuring people were treated with respect, that bullying and harassment were clearly defined and that members must not behave in a manner that would bring the Council into disrepute.
Members expressed the view that they were happy to adopt the Code which was clear, robust and would give the Council power to impose sanctions if the sanctions were adopted and enacted into legislation.
Some members expressed the view that the Council needed to exercise caution if they were to impose sanctions as it could be abused if the political composition of the Council were to change and one party became dominant.
Members agreed that they supported the adoption of the Code and committee members should lead the way by adhering to the Code and showing respect to each other.
Resolved to recommend that Council approve the adoption of the new LGA Model Code of Conduct from the date of the Annual Council.
Report author: Victoria Statham
Publication date: 12/02/2021
Date of decision: 04/02/2021
Decided at meeting: 04/02/2021 - Members' Code of Conduct Committee