All elected members are required to adhere to a Code of Conduct. Adopting such a code is a requirement of the Local Government Act 2002. Once adopted, such a code may only be amended by a 75% or more vote of the Council. The code sets out the council's agreed standards of behaviour in the following circumstances:
- relationships with other elected members
- relationships with staff
- relationships with the community
- contact with the media
- confidential information
- conflicts of interest
- standing orders
- disqualification of members from office or if an elected member is or has become an undischarged bankrupt
The code of conduct is based on the following general principles:
- Accountability - Members should be accountable to the public for their actions and the manner in which they carry out their responsibilities, and should cooperate fully and honestly with the scrutiny appropriate to their particular office.
- Duty to uphold the law - Members should uphold the law, and on all occasions, act in accordance with the trust the public places in them.
- Honesty and integrity - Members should not place themselves in situations where their honesty and integrity may be questioned, should not behave improperly and should on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.
- Leadership - Members should promote and support these proposals by example, and should always endeavour to act in the best interests of the community.
- Objectivity - Members should make decisions on merit including making appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits. Elected members should also note that, once elected, their primary duty is to the interests of the entire district, not the ward that elected them.
- Openness - Members should be as open as possible about their actions and those of the council, and should be prepared to justify their actions.
- Personal judgment - Members can and will 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.
- Public interest - Members should serve only the interests of the district as a whole and should never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any one person.
- Respect for others - Members should promote equality by not discriminating unlawfully against any person and by treating people with respect, regardless of their race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. They should respect the impartiality and integrity of the council staff.
- Stewardship - Members must ensure that the council uses resources prudently and for lawful purposes, and that the council maintains sufficient resources to meet its statutory obligations.
Publish Date: 07 Nov 2013