The Local Government Association (LGA) has launched a consultation on a draft Model Member Code of Conduct that could be a template for councils to adopt in whole and/or with local amendments.
The LGA said: “The onset of COVID-19 and the measures that have been introduced to curb its spread have changed the workings of local government. Remote meetings and decision-making processes have been introduced, but these have not diluted the importance of high standards of conduct of local government elected members.
“With more communication taking place remotely and online between members and residents, particularly through social media, there may be more difficult and heated discussions as some seek to express the fear, frustration and heightened emotions they are experiencing at this time. However, abuse, threatening and intimidatory communications continue to be unacceptable, and we have sought to address these issues in the draft code.”
The document, which can be viewed here, covers:
- Application of the Code;
- Model member conduct;
- Specific obligations of general conduct;
- Bullying and harassment;
- Impartiality of officers of the council;
- Confidentiality and access to information;
- Your position;
- Use of council resources and facilities;
- Gifts and hospitality;
- Breaches of the Code of Conduct;
- Example LGA guidance and recommendations
The LGA said it was the intention to create additional guidance, working examples and explanatory text.
The consultation on the draft will run for 10 weeks until Monday 17 August.
All councils are required to have a local Member Code of Conduct.