One Legal Sept 21 Director 600

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Local Government Association issues supporting guidance for Model Code of Conduct

The Local Government Association has published supporting guidance which is aimed to help understanding and consistency of approach towards the Model Councillor Code of Conduct.

The LGA said the code, together with the guidance, had been “designed to protect our democratic role, encourage good conduct, and safeguard the public’s trust and confidence in the role of councillor in local government”.

Part 1 of the supporting guidance, which can be viewed here, covers:

  • General principles of Councillor conduct
  • Application of the Model Councillors’ Code of Conduct

Part 2 covers:

  • General obligations under the Code of Conduct
  • Respect
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Impartiality of officers
  • Confidentiality and access to information
  • Disrepute
  • Misuse of position
  • Misuse of resources and facilities
  • Complying with the Code of Conduct

Part 3 covers:

  • Protecting your reputation and the reputation of the local authority
  • Registration of gifts, hospitality and interests
  • Declarations of interest
  • Bias and predetermination

There are also appendices containing an interests flowchart and general principles.

This week the chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life praised the LGA for acting “promptly” in taking forward the recommendation of a model code of conduct for local councils that was contained in the watchdog’s 2019 report on local government ethical standards.

However, Lord Evans of Weardale also used the publication of the CSPL’s Annual Report 2020/21 to urge the Government to look at the recommendations made – including the need for greater sanctions, where appropriate, in the rare cases of significant or repeated breaches of the code of conduct – “as a matter of urgency”.

Although two and a half years have passed the Government is yet to formally respond to the report.