The ethical framework
Elected councillors and voting co-opted members on council committees (collectively known as "members") must comply with our ethical framework in discharging their duties.
Such members must adhere to a code of conduct for members, which places general conduct obligations upon them, for example, not treating others with disrespect, and which also requires them to:
- Disclose the existence and nature of disclosable financial interests to meetings of the authority and its committees and then to withdraw from the meeting (unless they have a dispensation from the standards committee or monitoring officer); and
- Register certain statutorily prescribed disclosable financial interests in the register of members' interests, which is open to public inspection during office hours.
All complaints that a member may have breached the members' code of conduct must be made, in writing, to the monitoring officer. Please see the standards committee page for more information about making a complaint.
The role of the leader and chief executive officer in the ethical framework
The roles of the leader of the council and the chief executive officer are set in protocol in relation to the ethical framework. Both are committed to setting and encouraging high ethical standards and promoting the ethical agenda inside and outside the authority. They will support and facilitate the work of the standards committee and monitoring officer in relation to the ethical framework in the following joint and individual ways:
- Publicly committing themselves to working together to uphold the ethical wellbeing of the authority and affirming that each fully subscribes to the authority's ethical agenda and expects all officers and members to do likewise;
- Leading by example, acting at all times with integrity, propriety and impartiality in the discharge of their roles;
- Helping to ensure that members and officers are clear about their respective roles and what is expected of them;
- Seeking the advice of the monitoring officer on declarations of interests and ethical issues where necessary;
- Having due regard to the advice of the monitoring officer and standards committee;
- Being available for consultation on key ethical issues;
- Taking appropriate action, where necessary, on particular ethical issues;
- Receiving and considering the agenda for, and minutes of, the standards committee's meetings;
- Attending standards committee to discuss relevant issues (at least once per year);
- Promoting the work of the standards committee;
- Where appropriate, including the chair of the standards committee in the authority's wider corporate governance meetings and activities;
- Proactively supporting a member and officer ethical training and development programme;
- Supporting action taken by the standards committee and monitoring officer in furtherance of the authority's codes of conduct, the ethical framework generally; and
- Ensuring that support for the authority's ethical agenda is adequately resourced.
The chief executive officer:
- Recognising the importance of the ethical and wider corporate governance agenda in the authority's management board; and
- Regularly meeting and directly supporting the monitoring officer on key issues and individual matters arising out of the ethical and governance agenda.
- Holding regular leader's meetings where the chief executive officer and/or monitoring officer may raise issues; and
- Supporting the monitoring officer as necessary in reporting to executive, full council and other committees regarding the ethical agenda.