To consider and approve a revised Councillor Code of Conduct, as recommended by the Standards Committee.
RECOMMENDATION thatCouncil adopt for inclusion in the Constitution:
1) The LGA’s Model Code of Conduct, as amended by the Standards Committee at its meeting of 8 March 2021 (attached at Annex A to the report); and
2) The guidance on the use of social media by Councillors attached at Annex B to the report.
The Council considered a revised Member Code of Conduct.
It was proposed by John Halsall and seconded by Chris Bowring that the recommendations within the report be approved.
John Halsall indicated that he was proposing the item on behalf of John Kaiser, Chairman of the Standards Committee.
In December 2020 the Local Government Association had published the Model Code of Conduct. It was the role of the Standards Committee to recommend to Council the adoption of the Model Code of Conduct, either in whole or with local amendments, for inclusion in the Constitution. The Standards Committee had considered the Code at their March meeting and agreed to recommend the Code to the Council subject to the following amendments: addition of an appendix on social media usage, reporting concerns to the local authority, the retention of the current registration threshold for gifts and hospitality and an amendment to the section on exempt and confidential information, for Councillors to seek advice from the Monitoring Officer before releasing information which could reasonably be considered to be exempt.
As requested by the Standards Committee at its meeting on 19 July 2021, John Halsall proposed that recommendation 1 be amended to refer to the proposed deletion of paragraph 4.2 of the document and it being referred back to the Standards Committee for further consideration.
Lindsay Ferris indicated that with the removal of 4.2, he was in support of the Code.
RESOLVED: That the following be adopted for inclusion in the Constitution:
1) the LGA’s Model Code of Conduct, as amended by the Standards Committee at its meeting of 8 March 2021 (attached at Annex A to the report), subject to para 4.2 being deleted from the document and referred back to the Standards Committee for further consideration; and
2) the guidance on the use social media by Councillors attached at Annex B to the report.