Code of Conduct for Officers and Sub-Committee members
(adopted April 19, 2011)
(Note: Where these provisions can be applied to all those attending Parish Meetings – for example, in matters of conduct, personal interests, etc – they must be so applied)
Officers and members of Sub-Committees:
- Must serve only the public interest and never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person
- Must not put themselves in situations where their honesty or integrity may be questioned; must not behave improperly; and always avoid the appearance of such behaviour. They must be aware of Personal and Prejudicial Interests (see section 11). They must not improperly disclose confidential information nor prevent anyone getting information to which they are entitled
- Must make decisions on merit, including but not confined to when making appointments, awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits. They must report and register with the Clerk promptly all gifts and hospitality worth more than £25 received in their official role
- Must be accountable to the public for their actions and how they carry out their responsibilities and should co-operate fully and honestly with any scrutiny appropriate to their office
- Must be as open as possible about their actions and those of the Parish Meeting and its sub-committees and be prepared to give reasons for those actions
- May take account of the views of others but should reach their own conclusions on the issues before them and act in accordance with those conclusions
- Must not bully, intimidate or try to intimidate others. They must promote equality by not discriminating unlawfully against anyone and by treating people with respect, regardless of their race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability
- Must uphold the law and always act in accordance with the trust that the public is entitled to place in them
- Must do whatever they can to ensure that parish resources are used prudently and in accordance with the law
- Should promote and support these principles by leadership and example and act so that public confidence is secured or preserved.
- Must be aware of the definitions and procedures on Personal and Prejudicial Interests. For the purposes of Warleggan Parish Meetings (including its sub-committees):
(i) A Personal Interest is where the well-being or financial position of you, members of your family, or people with whom you have a close association, is likely to be more affected by the business than would most other people’s in the parish. This interest, and its nature, must be declared at the outset or as soon as the interest becomes apparent. Providing the interest is declared, you can stay in the meeting, speak and vote on the matter unless your personal interest is also a Prejudicial Interest.
(ii) A Prejudicial Interest is where both the following conditions are met. First, the matter affects your financial interests or relates to a licensing or regulatory matter. Second, a member of the public knowing the relevant facts would reasonably think your personal interest is so significant that it is likely to prejudice your judgment of the public interest. Matters exempt from this rule include those relating to allowance, payment or indemnity for the individual and the setting of a parish precept. You must declare a Prejudicial Interest at the outset and leave the room unless the public are allowed to speak, give evidence or answer questions about the matter. In that case you can attend the meeting for that purpose but must leave the room immediately you have finished speaking or when the Meeting so decides
- Further guidance: Should any dispute arise under this Code, reference should be made to a copy of the “Model Code of Conduct for Parish and Town Councils” issued by the Secretary of State under the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007 No 1159, or to “The Code of Conduct” guide issued in May 2007 by the Standards Board for England – copies of both should be kept by the Clerk for reference.
- Any alleged transgression of this Code of Conduct must be raised promptly. It can be raised by any voter at any Parish Meeting (but not a sub-committee) and dealt with there in any way deemed appropriate that lies within the powers of the Meeting.