Code of Conduct

Alton Town Council - Code of Members Conduct - PDF Version

1. This Code of Conduct is adopted pursuant to the Council’s duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Councillors and co-opted members1 of the council.

2. This code applies to you as a member or co-opted member of this Council when you act in that role and it is your responsibility to comply with the provisions of this code.

SELFLESSNESS
3. You must serve only the public interest and must never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person including yourself.

OBJECTIVITY
4. In carrying out public business you must make decisions on merit, including when making appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits.

ACCOUNTABILITY
5. You are accountable for your decisions and actions to the public and must submit yourself to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to your office.

OPENNESS
6. You must be as open as possible about your actions and those of your Council, and must be prepared to give reasons for those actions.

HONESTY AND INTEGRITY
7. You must not place yourself in situations where your honesty and integrity may reasonably be questioned, must not behave improperly and must on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.

LEADERSHIP
8. You must promote and support high standards of conduct when serving in your public post, in particular as characterised by the above requirements, by leadership and example in a way that secures or preserves public confidence.

GENERAL OBLIGATIONS
9. You must ensure that you are aware of and comply with all legal obligations that apply to you as a member or co-opted member of the Council and act within the law.

10. You must treat others with respect

11. You must not bully2 any person.

12. You must not do anything that compromises or is likely to compromise the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of the Council.

1 A “co-opted member” for the purposes of this code is, as defined in the Localism Act 2011 Section 27 (4) “ a person who is not a member of the council but who
a) is a member of any committee or sub-committee of the council; or
b) is a member of, and represents the council on, any joint committee or joint sub-committee of the council; and who is entitled to vote on any question that falls to be decided at any meeting of that committee or sub-committee”.

2 Bullying is defined as offensive, intimidating, malicious, insulting or humiliating behaviour which attempts to undermine, hurt or humiliate an individual or group. It can have a damaging effect on a victim’s confidence, capability and health. Bullying conduct can involve behaving in an abusive or threatening way, or making allegations about people in public, in the company of their colleagues, through the press or in blogs. It may happen once or be part of a pattern of behaviour, although minor isolated incidents are unlikely to be considered bullying. 

13. You must not disclose information given to you in confidence by anyone, or information acquired by you which you are aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, is of a confidential nature except where:

(i) you have the consent of a person authorised to give it;
(ii) you are required by law to do so;
(iii) the disclosure is made to a third party for the purpose of obtaining professional legal advice provided that the third party agrees not to disclose the information to any other person; or
(iv) the disclosure is:
a) reasonable and in the public interest; and/or
b) made in good faith and in compliance with the reasonable requirements of the Council and in accordance with current legislation.

14. You must not improperly use knowledge gained solely as a result of your role as a member for your own personal advantage.

15. When making decisions on behalf of or as part of the Council you must have regard to any professional advice provided to you by the Council’s officers.

16. When using or authorising the use by others of the resources of the Council:
(i) you must act in accordance with the Council’s reasonable requirements; and
(ii) you must make sure that you do not use resources improperly for political purposes and do not use them at all for party political purposes.

REGISTERING AND DECLARING INTERESTS
17. You must within 28 days of taking office as a member or co-opted member, notify the Council’s Monitoring Officer of any disclosable pecuniary interest as defined by regulations made by the Secretary of State, where the pecuniary interest is yours, your spouse’s or civil partner’s, or is the pecuniary interest of someone with whom you are living with as a husband or wife, or as if you were civil partners.

18. You must disclose the interest at any meeting of the Council at which you are present, where you have a disclosable interest in any matter being considered and where the matter is not a ‘sensitive interest3’.

19. Following any disclosure of an interest not on the Council’s register or the subject of pending notification, you must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days beginning with the date of disclosure.

20. Unless dispensation has been granted, you may not participate in any discussion of, or vote on, or discharge any function related to any matter in which you have a pecuniary interest as defined by regulations made by the Secretary of State. You must withdraw from the room or chamber when the meeting discusses and votes on the matter. 

3 A “sensitive interest” is described in the Localism Act 2011 as a member or co-opted member of a council having an interest, and the nature of the interest being such that the member or co-opted member, and the council’s monitoring officer, consider that disclosure of the details of the interest could lead to the member or co-opted member, or a person connected with the member or co-opted member, being subject to violence or intimidation.

Adopted June 2012