Code of Conduct
Pursuant to section 27 of the Localism Act 2011, Carrington Parish Council has adopted this Members’ Code of Conduct to promote and maintain high standards of behaviour amongst the elected and co-opted members of the Council.
The Code is underpinned by the following principles of public life which should be borne in mind when interpreting the meaning of the Code. As a Councillor you are a representative of the Council and the public and other stakeholders will form a view of Carrington Parish Council as a result of your actions. As such you must conduct yourself in a manner which is consistent with the Council’s duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct of Councillors.
(i) Selflessness - As a public figure you serve only the public interest and should not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, your family or your friends.
(ii) Integrity - You should avoid placing yourself under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence you in the performance of your official duties.
(iii) Objectivity - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, you should make choices on merit.
(iv) Accountability - You are accountable for your decisions and actions to the public and must submit yourself to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to your office.
(v) Openness - You should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that you take. You should give reasons for your decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
(vi) Honesty - You have a duty to declare any private interests relating to your public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
(vii) Leadership - You will promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
- Introduction and Interpretation
1.1 You should read this Code in conjunction with the Council’s Standing Orders.
1.2 This Code applies to you as a member of Carrington Parish Council.
1.3 It is your responsibility to comply with the provisions of this Code and ensure all obligations are met.
1.4 In this Code: “Meeting” means any meeting of: (a) the Authority; (b) the Council; (c) any of the Council’s committees, sub-committees or working parties;
1.5 “Member" means any person being an elected or co-opted member of the Council and any independent person appointed by the Council to assist with the discharge of its functions.
1.6 In relation to a parish council, references to an authority's Monitoring Officer and an authority's Standards Committee shall be read, respectively, as references to the Monitoring Officer and the Standards Committee of the District Council which has functions in relation to the parish council for which it is responsible under Section 55(12) of the Local Government Act 2000.
2.1 You must comply with this Code whenever you
2.1.1 act, claim to act or give the impression you are acting as a representative of the Council
2.1.2 conduct the business of the Council (which, in this Code, includes the business of the office to which you are elected or appointed)
2.2 Where you act as a representative of Carrington Parish Council
2.2.1 on another relevant authority, you must, when acting for that other authority, comply with that other authority’s code of conduct
2.2.2 on any other body, you must, when acting for that other body, comply with this Code of Conduct except in so far as it conflicts with any other lawful obligations to which that other body may be subject.
2.3 In addition to having effect in relation to conduct in your official capacity, the Code also has effect, at any other time, where that conduct constitutes a criminal offence for which you have been convicted.
2.4 Conduct to which this Code applies (whether that is conduct in your official capacity or conduct mentioned in sub-paragraph (3)) includes a criminal offence for which you are convicted (including an offence you committed before the date you took office, but for which you are convicted after that date).
3. Other Obligations
In addition to the above principles, you will:-
1. Behave in such a way that a reasonable person would regard as respectful.
2. Not act in a way, which a reasonable person would regard as bullying or intimidatory.
3. Not seek to improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person.
4. Use the resources of the Council in accordance with its requirements.
5. Not disclose information which is confidential or where disclosure is prohibited by law.
4. Interests Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
4.1 Subject to Paragraph 11 (sensitive interests), you must within 28 days of (a) this code being adopted or (b) your election or appointment (where that is later) Notify the Monitoring Officer of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests where such interest is (i) yours, (ii) your spouse’s or civil partner’s (iii) somebody with whom you are living as husband and wife or civil partners (iv) that of your family, (v) close associate. and you are aware that that person has the interest
4.2 You must within 28 days of becoming aware of any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or any change to any such interest, notify the Monitoring Officer in writing of that new interest.
4.3 You have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest if it is of a description specified in Regulations made by the Secretary of State and attached as an Appendix to this Code.
4.4 Where such an interest exists and has or has not been entered onto the authority’s register, you must disclose the interest to any meeting of the authority at which you are present, where you have a Disclosable Interest in any matter being considered and where the matter is not a ‘sensitive interest’ or where no dispensation has been given.
4.5 Following any disclosure of an interest not on the authority’s register or the subject of pending notification, you must notify the Monitoring Officer in writing of the interest within 28 days beginning with the date of disclosure.
4.6 Where you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest you must not remain in the meeting or participate in the discussions on the matter on which you hold that Interest, unless members of the public are allowed to make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter.
5. Disclosable Non-Pecuniary Interests and Non-Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
5.1 Where a matter arises at a meeting, which relates to an interest in Appendix A the member shall not participate in a discussion or vote on the matter. They only have to declare what their interest is if it is not already entered in the member’s register of interests or if they have not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.
5.2 Where a matter arises at a meeting, which relates to an interest in Appendix A that is a sensitive interest, the member shall not participate in a discussion or vote on the matter. If it is a sensitive interest, which has not already been disclosed to the Monitoring Officer, the member shall disclose that they have an interest but not the nature of it.
5.3 Where a matter arises at a meeting, which relates to an interest in Appendix B, the member shall not vote on the matter. They may speak on the matter only if members of the public are also allowed to speak at the meeting.
5.4 A member only has to declare their interest in Appendix B if it is not already entered in their register of interests or they have not notified the Monitoring Officer of it or if they speak on the matter. If they hold an interest in Appendix B which is a sensitive interest not already disclosed to the Monitoring Officer, they shall declare the interest but not the nature of the interest.
5.5 Where a matter arises at a meeting, which relates to a financial interest of a friend, relative or close associate (other than an interest of a person in Appendix A), the member shall disclose the nature of the interest and not vote on the matter. They may speak on the matter only if members of the public are also allowed to speak at the meeting. If it is a ‘sensitive interest’ the member shall declare the interest but not the nature of the interest.
6.1 On a written request made to the Council’s proper officer, the Council may grant a member a dispensation to participate in a discussion and vote on a matter at a meeting even if they have an interest in Appendices A and B if the Council believes that the number of members otherwise prohibited from taking part in the meeting would impede the transaction of the business; or it is in the interests of the inhabitants in the Council’s area to allow the member to take part or it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.
6.2 Dispensations will only be granted where there are reasonable grounds for doing so and where such grounds are in the public interest.
7. Sensitive Interests
7.1 A ‘sensitive interest’ is described in the Localism Act 2011 as a member or coopted member of an authority having an interest, and the nature of the interest being such that the member or co-opted member, and the authority’s monitoring officer, consider that disclosure of the details of the interest could lead to the member or coopted member, or a person connected with the member or co-opted member, being subject to violence or intimidation.
DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS
The duties to register, disclose and not to participate in respect of any matter in which a member has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011. Disclosable pecuniary interests are defined in the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 as follows –
Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation
Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain by the member or by his/her spouse or civil partner or by the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners
Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the Council) made to the member during the 12-month period ending on the latest date referred to in paragraph 6 above for expenses incurred by him/her in carrying out his/her duties as a member, or towards his/her election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Any contract made between the member or his/her spouse or civil partner or the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners (or a firm in which such person is a partner, or an incorporated body of which such person is a director* or a body that such person has a beneficial interest in the securities of*) and the Council — (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.
Any beneficial interest in land held by the member or by his/her spouse or civil partner or by the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partner, which is within the area of the Council. ‘Land’ excludes an easement, servitude, interest or right in or over land which does not give the member or his/her spouse or civil partner or the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners (alone or jointly with another) a right to occupy or to receive income
Any licence (alone or jointly with others) held by the member or by his/her spouse or civil partner or by the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners to occupy land in the area of the Council for a month or longer.
Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge)— (a) the landlord is the Council; and (b) the tenant is a body that the member, or his/her spouse or civil partner or the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners is a partner of or a director* of or has a beneficial interest in the securities* of.
Any beneficial interest held by the member or by his/her spouse or civil partner or by the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners in securities* of a body where— (a) that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the Council; and (b) either— (i) the total nominal value of the securities* exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or (ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the member, or his/her spouse or civil partner or the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.
For this purpose
– “the Act” means the Localism Act 2011;
“body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest” means a firm in which the relevant person is a partner or a body corporate of which the relevant person is a director, or in the securities of which the relevant person has a beneficial interest;
“director” includes a member of the committee of management of an industrial and provident society;
“land” excludes an easement, servitude, interest or right in or over land which does not carry with it a right for the relevant person (alone or jointly with another) to occupy the land or to receive income;
“M” means a member of a relevant authority;
“member” includes a co-opted member;
“relevant authority” means the authority of which M is a member;
“relevant period” means the period of 12 months ending with the day on which M gives a notification for the purposes of section 30(1) or section 31(7), as the case may be, of the Act; “relevant person” means M or any other person referred to in section 30(3)(b) of the Act;
“securities” means shares, debentures, debenture stock, loan stock, bonds, units of a collective investment scheme within the meaning of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and other securities of any description, other than money deposited with a building society.
An interest, which relates to or is likely to affect:
(i) any body of which the member is in a position of general control or management and to which they are appointed or nominated by the Council;
(ii) any body—
(a) exercising functions of a public nature;
(b) directed to charitable purposes; or
(c) one of whose principal purposes includes the influence of public opinion or policy (including any political party or trade union) of which the member of the Council is a member or in a position of general control or management;
(iii) any gifts or hospitality worth more than an estimated value of £20, which the member has received by virtue of their office.