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This Code of Conduct is based on the principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership.
Pursuant to section 27 of the Localism Act 2011, Damerham Parish Council has adopted this Code of Conduct to promote and maintain high standards of behaviour by its members and co-opted members whenever they conduct the business of the Council, including the business of the office to which they were elected or appointed, or when they claim to act or give the impression of acting as a representative of the Council.
2. Definitions For the purposes of this Code
2.1 A ‘co-opted member’ is a person who is not a member of the Council but holds office with the council or is a member of a Council Committee or Sub-Committee.
2.2 A ‘meeting’ is a meeting of the Council, any of any committee or working group set up by the Council.
2.3 Unless otherwise expressed, a reference to a member of the Council includes a co-opted member of the Council.
3. Member obligations
When a member of the Council acts, claims to act or gives the impression of acting as a representative of the Council, he/she has the following obligations.
He/she shall behave in such a way that a reasonable person would regard as respectful.
He/she shall not act in a way which a reasonable person would regard as bullying or intimidatory.
He/she shall not seek to improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person.
He/she shall use the resources of the Council in accordance with its requirements.
He/she shall not disclose information which is confidential or where disclosure is prohibited by law
4. Registration of interests
4.1 Within 28 days of a member’s election or re-election and the co-opted member’s appointment to the Council he/she shall register with the Clerk to the Council the interests which fall within the categories set out in the Registration of Members Interests set out under the Localism Act 2011 Sections 29 and 30 (Appendices A and B).
4.2 A member or co-opted member shall register with the Clerk to the Council any change to interests or new interests within 28 days of becoming aware of it.
4.3 A member need only declare the existence, but not the details, of any interest which the Monitoring Officer agrees is a ‘sensitive interest’. A sensitive interest is one which, if disclosed on a public register, could lead the member or a person connected with the member to be subject to violence or intimidation.
5. Declaration of interests at meetings
5.1 Where a matter arises at a meeting which relates to an interest in Appendix A the member shall not participate in a discussion or vote on the matter. (He/she only has to declare what his/her interest is if it is not already entered in the member’s register of interests or if he/she has not notified the Clerk to the Council of it.)
5.2 Where a matter arises at a meeting which relates to an agreed sensitive issue, the member shall not participate in a discussion or vote on the matter. If it is a sensitive interest which has not already been disclosed to the Clerk to the Council, the member shall disclose he/she has an interest but not the nature of it.
5.3 Where a matter arises at a meeting which relates to an interest in Appendix B, the member shall not vote on the matter. He/she may speak on the matter only if members of the public are also allowed to speak at the meeting.
5.4 A member only has to declare his/her interest in Appendix B if it is not already entered in his/her register of interests or he/she has not notified the Clerk to the Council Monitoring Officer of it or if he/she speaks on the matter.
5.5 If he/she holds an interest in Appendix B which is a sensitive interest not already disclosed to the Clerk to the Council, he/she shall declare the interest but not the nature of the interest.
5.6 Where a matter arises at a meeting which relates to a financial interest of a friend, relative or close associate (other than an interest in Appendix A), the member shall disclose the nature of the interest and not vote on the matter. He/she may speak on the matter only if members of the public are also allowed to speak at the meeting. If it is a ‘sensitive interest’ the member shall declare the interest but not the nature of the interest.
15. On a written request made to the Council Clerk, the Council may grant a member a dispensation to participate in a discussion and vote on a matter at a meeting even if he/she has an interest in Appendices A and B. The Council may do this if it believes that the number of members otherwise prohibited from taking part in the meeting would impede the transaction of the business; or if it is in the interests of the inhabitants in the Council’s area to allow the member to take part; or if it is agreed to be otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.
Appendix A; Interests described in the table below:
Employment; office; trade; profession or vocation.
Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.
Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the Council) made to the member during the 12 month period ending on the latest date referred to in paragraph 4.1 above for expenses incurred by him/her in carrying out his/her duties as a member, or towards his/her election expenses.
This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Any contract made between the member or his/her spouse or civil partner or the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners (or a firm in which such person is a partner, or an incorporated body of which such person is a director* or a body that such person has a beneficial interest in the securities of*) and the Council —
(a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.
Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the Council. ‘Land’ excludes an easement, servitude, interest or right in or over land which does not give the member or his/her spouse or civil partner or the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners (alone or jointly with another) a right to occupy or to receive income.
Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the Council for a month or longer.
Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge)—
(a) the landlord is the Council; and
(b) the tenant is a body that the member, or his/her spouse or civil partner or the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners is a partner of or a director* of or has a beneficial interest in the securities* of :-
Any beneficial interest in securities* of a body where—
(a) that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the Council; and (b) either— (i) the total nominal value of the securities* exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or (ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the member, or his/her spouse or civil partner or the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.
An interest which relates to or is likely to affect:
(i) any body of which the member is in a position of general control or management and to which he/she is appointed or nominated by the Council;
(ii) any body —
(a) exercising functions of a public nature;
(b) directed to charitable purposes; or
(c) one of whose principal purposes includes the influence of public opinion or policy (including any political party or trade union) of which the member of the Council is a member or in a position of general control or management;
(iii) any gifts or hospitality worth more than an estimated value of £50 which the member has received by virtue of his or her office.
Based upon the NALC template Code of Conduct for Parish Councils 2012
Adopted by Damerham Parish Council as of May 2017