< Model Code of Conduct

The Model Code of Conduct for Parish and Town Councils

Explanatory Note
This note is not part of the Order

The Order contains a model code of conduct as regards the conduct which is expected of members and co-opted members of relevant authorities in England and police authorities in England and Wales. The Secretary of State has power to issue such a code under section 50 of the Local Government Act 2000. Under section 51 of that Act, each authority must adopt a code of conduct applying to its members and co-opted members which must incorporate any mandatory provisions of the Code. Under section 51(5), where an authority does not adopt such a code within six months of the Order coming into force, the mandatory provisions of the Code will apply to the members of the authority until it adopts its own code.

Article 1 provides that this Order applies to specified authorities in England and police authorities in England and Wales.

Article 2 provides that a model code is set out in the Schedule to the Order, and states which of its provisions are mandatory.

Article 3 disapplies the statutory provisions relating to the National Code of Local Government Conduct and members’ interests.

Article 4 revokes:

  • the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001; the Parish
  • Councils (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2001;
  • the National Park and Broads Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001(c); and
  • the Police Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2001.
  • These Orders continue to have effect in relation to misconduct committed before the date when the new code is adopted or applied to an authority.
  • Article 4(3) provides that orders made under section 83 of the Local Government Act 1972 shall have effect for the purpose of prescribing the form of a declaration of acceptance of office.

TOP

In the Schedule to the Order:

Paragraph 1 of the Code provides that the Code applies to any member of an authority and that it is the responsibility of each member to comply with the Code.

Paragraph 2 of the Code provides that the Code applies whenever a member is acting in his or her official capacity, and in relation to conduct in a member’s private capacity the code only applies where such conduct has resulted in a criminal conviction. Additionally, where a member is acting as a representative of his or her authority, he or she must continue to observe the authority’s code, unless he or she is subject to another relevant authority’s code, or unless (in relation to any other body) it conflicts with any other legal obligations.

Paragraph 3 of the Code provides that members must treat others with respect and not do anything which may cause their authority to breach equality legislation, or which compromises the impartiality of those who work for the authority or bully anyone or intimate persons involved in code of conduct cases.

Paragraph 4 of the Code provides that members must not without consent disclose confidential information they have acquired and must not prevent others from gaining access to information to which they are entitled.

Paragraph 5 of the Code provides that a member must not conduct himself or herself in a manner which could bring his or her authority into disrepute.

Paragraph 6 of the Code provides that a member must not use his or her position improperly to gain an advantage or confer a disadvantage and that when using or authorising the use of the authority’s resources, he or she must act in accordance with the authority’s reasonable requirements, must not permit those resources to be used for political purposes and must have regard to the Local Authority Code of Publicity.

Paragraph 7 of the Code provides that a member must have regard to advice given by the chief finance officer and monitoring officer and must give reasons for decisions made.

Paragraph 8 of the Code provides a list of matters which constitute a personal interest.

Paragraph 9 of the Code provides that generally a member with a personal interest in any business of his or her authority must disclose that interest at any meeting at which the business is considered.

Paragraph 10 of the Code provides that generally a member with a personal interest also has a prejudicial interest if the interest could be regarded by a member of the public as so significant that it is likely to prejudice his or her judgement of the public interest. The paragraph provides that in specified circumstances a member may regard himself as not having a prejudicial interest.

Paragraph 11 of the Code provides that a member who was involved in making a decision or taking action on a matter must not be involved in the overview and scrutiny committee’s consideration of that decision or action.

Paragraph 12 of the Code provides that a member with a prejudicial interest must, unless, for example, he or she is making representations and members of the public are also allowed to make representations on that matter, or he or she has obtained a dispensation, withdraw from any meetings at which the business is being considered, and must not improperly influence decisions in relation to the business.

Paragraph 13 of the Code provides that a member must notify the monitoring officer of his or her personal interests and any change to those interests must also be notified.

Paragraph 14 of the Code provides that a member may notify the monitoring officer of any sensitive information the availability of which to the public creates, or is likely to create, a serious risk that the member or a person who lives with him or her may be subjected to violence or intimidation.


TOP

< Model Code of Conduct