Agenda item

Adoption of New Local Code of Conduct/Standards Board for England Statutory Guidance


The Director of Law and Corporate Governance formally reported the publication in April this year of the new model Code of Conduct for Members which the Council had adopted at the adjourned Annual Council Meeting on 21st May, 2007.  The model code adopted by the Council included local provisions which only applied to Slough Borough Council.  These provisions provided for the incorporation of the following documents which currently formed part of the Council’s ethical framework:-


(a)  Planning Code of Conduct for Members and Officers.


(b)  Local Code of Conduct governing relations between elected Members and Council employees.


(c)  Whistle blowing policy and procedure.


Any breach of the provisions within these documents would automatically be considered to be a breach of the Local Code.


The major changes to the former Code were:-


·  Abolition of the duty of Members to report all alleged breaches of the Code, however minor.

·  The introduction of a new provision of bullying and intimidation.

·  Amendments in the way confidential information could be handled.

·  Important changes to the definition of personal and prejudicial interest.

·  Introduction of special categories of interest e.g. gifts and hospitality and sensitive information.


  While the changes to the Code which allowed Members to represent the views of their constituents despite having a personal interest were welcomed some concern was expressed about the changes to the definitions of personal and prejudicial interest which were more complicated.


The Standards Board for England had issued statutory guidance on the Code, a copy of which had been sent to all elected and co-opted Members who had been requested to sign an undertaking to abide by the provisions of the new Code.


Resolved -   That the information report now submitted be noted.




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