“Thank you to the hundreds of you who tuned in live this week to view our LLG Webinar on the Model Code of Conduct. Judith Barnes and David Kitson from Bevan Brittan provided an oversight of standards, the Localism Act and the LGA’s model code of conduct, with some really useful insights and commentary. So, what do we know and what do we think?
“Well, we know from our recent survey that only 20% of respondents are adopting the code with 55% deciding not to adopt at this time. Let’s be honest about this, the code is a significant improvement on what went before and frankly, not only does the code acknowledge its a template for adoption as is or with amendments and that it will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure it remains fit for purpose; drafting a model code in the current climate without a change to legislation or teeth of sanctions was inevitably going to be an uphill struggle for uniform adoption to say the least.
“So, this is a first step, and there is plenty of scope in the production of guidance to really provide something practically useful. To that end, LLG along with other stakeholder groups are inputting into that guidance and we really need you to comment on the detail of the model code so that we can feedback as part of the process.
“Social media for example is mentioned only briefly- should it go further?; does the provision around confidential information give rise to confusion?; are you concerned about the lack of time-limit on registering refusals of gifts and hospitality? What do ‘significant gifts’ mean? What actions (sanctions) can be taken on finding a breach of the code? Your feedback will be essential to craft both the guidance and the code moving forward so please do get in touch. This is our opportunity to work proactively and positively with the LGA for the benefit of local authority law and governance.
West Lancashire Borough Council still operates a 2018/19 version.
WLBC STANDARDS COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT 2018/19
1.0 INTRODUCTION. The Council has a statutory duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct and have in place arrangements to deal with standards issues and case-work. On 19 June 2012 Council considered proposals in relation to the introduction of a new Standards regime as required by the Act and agreed the establishment of a Standards Committee from 1 July 2012.
The main role of the Standards Committee is to promote and maintain high standards of conduct throughout the authority and create a sense of ‘ethical well-being’. The Standards Committee and the Monitoring Officer are at the heart of the standards framework. They promote, educate and support Councillors and Co-opted Members within West Lancashire in following the highest standards of conduct. 1.1 Role and Function of the Standards Committee.
WLBC PARTNERSHIP GOVERNANCE
Governance arrangements are in place for partnerships that are appropriate for the specific arrangement. For example, there is a framework of contracts governing the Council’s relationship with the Leisure Trust/Serco and Lancashire County Council/BT Lancashire Services (BTLS) and a Parish Charter on joint working with Parish Councils.