Model Code of Conduct for Parish and Town Councils

You are a member or Co-opted Member of Cotgrave Town Council(1) and as such are committed to behaving in a manner that is consistent with the following principles to achieve best value for our residents and maintain public confidence in this authority.

SELFLESSNESS: Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.  They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

INTEGRITY: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.

OBJECTIVITY: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

OPENNESS: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take.  They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

HONESTY: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

LEADERSHIP: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Accordingly, when acting in your capacity as a Member or Co-opted Member:

1. You must act solely in the public interest and should never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person or act to gain financial or other materials benefits for yourself, your family, a friend or close associate.

2. You must not place yourself under a financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence you in the performance of your official duties.

3. When carrying out your public duties you must make all choices, such as making public appointments, awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits, on merit.

4. You are accountable for your decisions to the public and you must co-operate fully with whatever scrutiny is appropriate to your office.

5. You must be as open as possible about your decisions and actions and the decisions and actions of your authority and should be prepared to give reasons for those decisions and actions.

6. You must declare any private interests, both pecuniary and non-pecuniary, including your membership of any Trade Union, that relate to your public duties and must take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest, including registering and declaring interests in a manner conforming with the procedures set out in the box below.

7. You must, when using or authorising the use by others of the resources of our authority, ensure that such resources are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes) and you must have regard to any applicable Local Authority Code of Publicity made under the Local Government.

8. You must promote and support high standards of conduct when serving in our public post, in particular as characterised by the above requirements, by leadership and example.

9. You must have regard to any relevant advice provided to you by Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Monitoring Officer, Section 151 Officer and Chief Executive where they are acting pursuant to his or her statutory duties.

10. You must not disclose information given to you in accordance by anyone, or information acquired by you which you believe, or ought reasonably to be aware, is of a confidential nature, except where:

a) You have the consent of a person authorised to give it
b) You are required by law to do so
c) The disclosure is made to a third party for the purpose of obtaining professional advice provided that the third party agrees not to disclose the information to any other person; or
d) The disclosure is:

(i) Reasonable and in the public interest and
(ii) Made in good faith and in compliance with the reasonable requirements of your authority.

11. Members must promote equality by not discriminating again any person, and by treating people with respect, regardless of their race, age, region, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

 Registering and declaring pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests

You must, within 28 days of taking office as a Member or Co-opted Member, notify your authority’s Monitoring Officer(2) of any disclosure pecuniary interest as defined by regulations made by the Secretary of State , where the pecuniary interest is yours, your spouse’s or civil partner’s or is the pecuniary interest of somebody with whom you are living as a husband or wife, or as if you were civil partners.

In addition, you must, within 28 days of taking office as a Member or Co-opted Member, notify your authority’s Monitoring Office of any disclosure pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest which your authority has decided should be included in the register or which you consider should be included if you are to fulfil your duty to act in conformity with the Seven Principles of Public Life.  These non-pecuniary interests will necessarily include your membership of any Trade Union.

If an interest has not been entered onto the register maintained by the authority’s Monitoring Officer, then the Member must disclose the interest to any meeting of the authority at which they are present, where they have a disclosure interest in any matter being considered and where the matter is not a ‘sensitive interest’.(3)

Following any disclosure of an interest not on the register maintained by the authority’s Monitoring Officer or the subject of pending notification, you must notify the authority’s Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days beginning with the date of disclosure.

Unless dispensation has been granted, you may not participate in any discussion of vote on, or discharge any function related to any matter in which you have a pecuniary interest as defined by regulations made by the Secretary of State.  Additionally, you must observe the restrictions your authority places on your involvement in matters where you have a pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest as defined by your authority.

Notes:

(1) All references to ‘the authority’, ‘your authority’ or ‘the relevant authority’ relate to the Town Council.

(2) The Town Council’s register of interests is maintained by Rushcliffe Borough Council, and the Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Monitoring Officer is accordingly the Town Council’s (your authority’s) Monitoring Officer.

(3) A ‘sensitive interest’ is described in the Localism Act 2011 as a Member or Co-opted 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 the disclosure of the details of the interested could lead to the Member or Co-opted Member, or a person connected with the Member or Co-opted Member, being subject to violence or intimidation.