Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee - Thursday 8th April, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: This will be a virtual meeting

Contact: Reuben Segal, Head of Committee and Governance Services  Email:; Tel: 07890 380137


No. Item



To note any changes to the membership.


To appoint a deputy chairman for the meeting.


1.1       It was noted that there were no changes to the membership.



Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members and Officers of the existence and nature of any pecuniary interests or any other significant interest in matters on this agenda.



2.1       There were none.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 225 KB

To sign the minutes of the meeting held on 19 October 2020.



3.1       RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 19 October 2020 be signed by the chairman as a correct record of the proceedings.



Update on the Review of the Model Code of by the Local Government Association pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Report of the Director of Law

Additional documents:


4.1       Hazel Best, Principal Solicitor, introduced the item and updated the committee on the outcome of the LGA consultation on the Model Code of Conduct. She advised that the LGA published the Model Code of Conduct with a recommendation for adoption for all local authorities on the 3 December 2020.


4.2       A comparison between the LGA Model Code of Conduct and the council’s existing Code of Conduct for Members was set out at Appendix 2 to the report.


4.3       The committee was asked to review the LGA Model Code of Conduct and consider if any changes should be made to the council’s existing Code of Conduct for Members.


4.4       Hazel Best advised members that Monitoring Officers had through Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) asked the LGA for clarification on some issues which were set out in the report. She further advised that of a survey of 82 Monitoring Officers, 20% were intending to adopt the model code, 20% were not intending to do so, 55% would adopt it in part and the remainder were looking at making their own code. She commented that the Model Code of Conduct is a template and it would be difficult to provide a code that is suitable for all local authorities.


4.5       The committee noted that as the LGA had received representations from lawyers working in local authorities on aspects of the model code and that some of the recommendations made by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) were still being considered by the government and would require primary legislation the Model Code of Conduct could be subject to further revision.


4.6       Members then discussed the differences between the Model Code of Conduct and the council’s existing Code of Conduct for Members and expressed the following views:


·          Style, format and language - the committee noted that the Model Code is written in the first person to encourage much more ownership by individual councillors. The chairman suggested that the emphasis on individual responsibility could be covered in training for members on the code. Elizabeth Walters, Independent Person, commented that the use of the first person could help reinforce the obligations for councillors.


The model code includes a definition under each obligation to help explain the reasons for the obligation and how it should be followed. Members thought the level of detail was helpful in providing substance to the conduct expected of councillors. The committee favoured following a similar approach in the Members Code of Conduct where definitions are currently contained at the end of the document. However, the committee noted that the Model Code is quite lengthy and it is keen to find a balance in the Members Code of Conduct so that it remains easy to digest;


·          Reference to Co-opted Members - that the council’s code does not include reference to co-opted members which is included in the Model Code and that this should be incorporated;


·          Electronic and Social Media Communication – members noted that the new Model Code specifically applies to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Work Programme and Action Tracker pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents:


5.1     RESOLVED:</AI7>


1.          That the work programme set out in Appendix 2 of the report be agreed subject to an additional item being added on the proposed induction programme for councillors following the 2022 local elections.


2.     That the responses to actions included in the action tracker set out in Appendix 3 to be report be noted.