SEVENOAKS WEALD PARISH COUNCIL

CODE OF CONDUCT

1.0       Introduction

1.1       This Code of Conduct (“the Code”) has been adopted by the Council as required by Section 27 of the Localism Act 2011 (”the Act”).  

1.2       The Council has a statutory duty under the Act to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by members and co-opted members of the Council (“Members”) and the Code sets out the standards that the Council expects Members to observe.  

1.3       The Code is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the obligations that are placed on Members.  It is the responsibility of individual Members to comply with the provisions of the Code as well as such other legal obligations as may apply to them from time to time.

1.4       The Code is consistent with the “Nolan” principles of standards in public life:

            Selflessness

            Integrity

            Objectivity

            Accountability

            Openness

            Honesty

            Leadership

2.0       Who does the Code apply to?

2.1       The Code applies to all Members of the Council and to all co-opted members of any committee, sub-committee or joint committee or sub-committee of the Council.

3.0       When does the Code apply?

3.1       The Code applies whenever a person is acting in his/her official capacity as a Member of the Council or co-opted member in the conduct of the Council’s business or acting as a representative of the Council.

4.0       What standards of Conduct are Members expected to observe?

Selflessness:

4.1       Members must always act in the public interest.

4.2       Members must never use their position as a member of the Council improperly to secure for themselves or any other person, an advantage or disadvantage.

4.3       Members must not use the Council’s resources improperly for personal or party political purposes.

Integrity

4.4       Members must not do anything which compromises or is likely to compromise the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, the Council.

4.5       Members must not disclose information given to them in confidence.

Objectivity

4.6       When making decisions on behalf of the Council, including awarding contracts or making appointments, Members must do so on merit.

4.7       Members must have regard to any relevant advice provided to them by the Clerk to the Council

Accountability

4.8       Members must act in accordance with their legal obligations, including the following Acts of Parliament that confer special obligations on elected councillors:

            Local Government Act 1972

            Employment Rights Act 1996

            Data Protection Act 1998

            Freedom of Information Act 2000

            Bribery Act 2010

            Equality Act 2010

            Localism Act 2011

4.9       Members must act in accordance with the Council’s policies and reasonable requirements, including any protocols and codes of practice that may apply.

Openness

4.10     Members must give reasons for any decisions taken on behalf of the Council in accordance with any statutory requirements and the Council’s Standing Orders.

4.11     Members must not prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law.

Honesty

4.12     Members must declare any disclosable (pecuniary and non-pecuniary) interests or conflicts of interest that may arise in respect of their responsibilities as a Member of the Council.

4.13     Members must at all times ensure that their claims for expenses, allowances, and their use of any facilities and services provided by the Council are strictly in accordance with the rules laid down on these matters.

Leadership

4.14     Members must set an example by their behaviour and shall act in a way that enhances public trust and confidence in the integrity of the Council and its Members. 

4.15     Members must show respect and courtesy to others.

4.16     Members should value the Council’s clerk and work alongside the clerk to achieve the Council’s objectives.  Members must on no account behave in a manner that might constitute bullying.

5.0       Register of Interests

5.1       The Monitoring Officer of Sevenoaks District Council maintains a register of interests of Members and co-opted members of the Council.

5.2       The Council has determined what interests Members are required to enter in the register of interests, including those disclosable pecuniary interests prescribed by regulations. 

5.3       Members must notify the clerk of any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests that should be recorded in the Council’s register of interests and the clerk will notify these to the Monitoring Officer.

5.4       Within 28 days of becoming a councillor, all Members must submit a list of their disclosable interests to the clerk who will then notify these to the Monitoring Officer.   Members must notify the clerk of any changes, as and when they arise, within 28 days of such changes and such changes will be notified by the clerk to the Monitoring Officer.