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The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007

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Statutory Instruments

2007 No. 1159

Local government, england and wales

The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007

Made

2nd April 2007

Laid before Parliament

4th April 2007

Coming into force

3rd May 2007

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government makes the following Order in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 50(1) and (4), 81(2) and (3), and 105(2), (3) and (4) of the Local Government Act 2000(1).

The Secretary of State has consulted in accordance with section 50(5) of that Act.

The Secretary of State is satisfied that this Order is consistent with the principles for the time being specified in an order under section 49(1) of that Act(2).

Citation, commencement and application

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007 and comes into force on 3rd May 2007.

(2) This Order applies—

(a)in relation to police authorities in England and Wales; and

(b)in relation to the following authorities in England—

(i)a county council;

(ii)a district council;

(iii)a London borough council;

(iv)a parish council;

(v)the Greater London Authority;

(vi)the Metropolitan Police Authority;

(vii)the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority;

(viii)the Common Council of the City of London;

(ix)the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(x)a fire and rescue authority;

(xi)a joint authority;

(xii)the Broads Authority; and

(xiii)a National Park authority,

and in this Order references to “authority” are construed accordingly.

Model Code of Conduct

2.—(1) The code set out in the Schedule to this Order (“the Code”) has effect as the model code issued by the Secretary of State under section 50 of the Local Government Act 2000 as regards the conduct which is expected of members and co-opted members of an authority.

(2) Subject to paragraphs (3) to (6), every provision of the Code in the Schedule to this Order is mandatory for an authority.

(3) Paragraph 6(c) of the Code is not mandatory for police authorities, the Greater London Authority, the Metropolitan Police Authority, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, fire and rescue authorities and joint authorities.

(4) Paragraph 7 of the Code is not mandatory for parish councils.

(5) Subject to sub-paragraph (6)(c) and (d) below, paragraphs 10(2)(c)(i) and (ii), 11 and 12(2) of the Code are mandatory only for county councils, district councils and London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

(6) The following provisions of the Code are mandatory only for an authority which is operating executive arrangements—

(a)in paragraph 1(4), in the definition of “meeting”—

(i)sub-paragraph (b);

(ii)in sub-paragraph (c), the words “or its executive’s” and “, or area committees”;

(b)paragraphs 9(6), 9(7) and 12(1)(b);

(c)in paragraph 11(a), the words “your authority’s executive or”

(d)in paragraph 11(b), the word “executive,”; and

(e)in paragraph 12(2), the words in brackets.

Disapplication of certain statutory provisions

3.  The following provisions shall not apply (where they are capable of doing so) to an authority which has adopted a code of conduct or to which such a code applies—

(a)sections 94 to 98 and 105 to the Local Government Act 1972(3);

(b)section 30(3A) of the Local Government Act 1974(4);

(c)regulations made or a code issued under section 19 and 31 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989(5);

(d)paragraphs 9 and 10 of Schedule 7 to the Environment Act 1995(6); and

(e)any guidance issued under section 66 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999(7).

Revocation and savings

4.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the following orders are revoked—

(a)the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001(8);

(b)the Parish Councils (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2001(9);

(c)the National Park and Broads Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001(10); and

(d)the Police Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2001(11).

(2) The Orders referred to in paragraph (1) continue to have effect for the purposes of and for purposes connected with —

(a)the investigation of any written allegation under Part 3 of the Local Government Act 2000, where that allegation relates to conduct which took place before the date when, pursuant to section 51 of that Act—

(i)the authority adopts a code of conduct incorporating the mandatory provisions of the Code in the Schedule to this Order in place of their existing code of conduct;

(ii)the authority revises their existing code of conduct to incorporate the mandatory provisions of the Code in the Schedule to this Order; or

(iii)the mandatory provisions of the Code in the Schedule to this Order apply to members or co-opted members of the authority under section 51(5)(b) of that Act;

(b)the adjudication of a matter raised in such an allegation; and

(c)an appeal against the decision of an interim case tribunal or case tribunal in relation to such an allegation.

(3) Any order made under section 83 of the Local Government Act 1972(12) shall have effect for the purpose of prescribing the form of a declaration of acceptance of office in relation to a county council, district council, London borough council and a parish council.

Signed on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Phil Woolas

Minister of State

Department for Communities and Local Government

2nd April 2007

SCHEDULETHE MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT

Part 1General provisions

Introduction and interpretation

1.—(1) This Code applies to you as a member of an authority.

(2) You should read this Code together with the general principles prescribed by the Secretary of State(13).

(3) It is your responsibility to comply with the provisions of this Code.

(4) In this Code—

“meeting” means any meeting of—

(a)

the authority;

(b)

the executive of the authority;

(c)

any of the authority’s or its executive’s committees, sub-committees, joint committees, joint sub-committees, or area committees;

“member” includes a co-opted member and an appointed member.

(5) In relation to a parish council, references to an authority’s monitoring officer and an authority’s standards committee shall be read, respectively, as references to the monitoring officer and the standards committee of the district council or unitary county council which has functions in relation to the parish council for which it is responsible under section 55(12) of the Local Government Act 2000.

Scope

2.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) to (5), you must comply with this Code whenever you—

(a)conduct the business of your authority (which, in this Code, includes the business of the office to which you are elected or appointed); or

(b)act, claim to act or give the impression you are acting as a representative of your authority,

and references to your official capacity are construed accordingly.

(2) Subject to sub-paragraphs (3) and (4), this Code does not have effect in relation to your conduct other than where it is in your official capacity.

(3) In addition to having effect in relation to conduct in your official capacity, paragraphs 3(2)(c), 5 and 6(a) also have effect, at any other time, where that conduct constitutes a criminal offence for which you have been convicted.

(4) Conduct to which this Code applies (whether that is conduct in your official capacity or conduct mentioned in sub-paragraph (3)) includes a criminal offence for which you are convicted (including an offence you committed before the date you took office, but for which you are convicted after that date).

(5) Where you act as a representative of your authority—

(a)on another relevant authority, you must, when acting for that other authority, comply with that other authority’s code of conduct; or

(b)on any other body, you must, when acting for that other body, comply with your authority’s code of conduct, except and insofar as it conflicts with any other lawful obligations to which that other body may be subject.

General obligations

3.—(1) You must treat others with respect.

(2) You must not—

(a)do anything which may cause your authority to breach any of the equality enactments (as defined in section 33 of the Equality Act 2006(14));

(b)bully any person;

(c)intimidate or attempt to intimidate any person who is or is likely to be—

(i)a complainant,

(ii)a witness, or

(iii)involved in the administration of any investigation or proceedings,

in relation to an allegation that a member (including yourself) has failed to comply with his or her authority’s code of conduct; or

(d)do anything which compromises or is likely to compromise the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, your authority.

(3) In relation to police authorities and the Metropolitan Police Authority, for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(d) those who work for, or on behalf of, an authority are deemed to include a police officer.

4.  You must not—

(a)disclose information given to you in confidence by anyone, or information acquired by you which you believe, or ought reasonably to be aware, is of a confidential nature, except where—

(i)you have the consent of a person authorised to give it;

(ii)you are required by law to do so;

(iii)the disclosure is made to a third party for the purpose of obtaining professional advice provided that the third party agrees not to disclose the information to any other person; or

(iv)the disclosure is—

(aa)reasonable and in the public interest; and

(bb)made in good faith and in compliance with the reasonable requirements of the authority; or

(b)prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law.

5.  You must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute.

6.  You—

(a)must not use or attempt to use your position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for yourself or any other person, an advantage or disadvantage; and

(b)must, when using or authorising the use by others of the resources of your authority—

(i)act in accordance with your authority’s reasonable requirements;

(ii)ensure that such resources are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes); and

(c)must have regard to any applicable Local Authority Code of Publicity made under the Local Government Act 1986(15).

7.—(1) When reaching decisions on any matter you must have regard to any relevant advice provided to you by—

(a)your authority’s chief finance officer; or

(b)your authority’s monitoring officer,

where that officer is acting pursuant to his or her statutory duties.

(2) You must give reasons for all decisions in accordance with any statutory requirements and any reasonable additional requirements imposed by your authority.

Part 2Interests

Personal interests

8.—(1) You have a personal interest in any business of your authority where either—

(a)it relates to or is likely to affect—

(i)any body of which you are a member or in a position of general control or management and to which you are appointed or nominated by your authority;

(ii)any body—

(aa)exercising functions of a public nature;

(bb)directed to charitable purposes; or

(cc)one of whose principal purposes includes the influence of public opinion or policy (including any political party or trade union),

of which you are a member or in a position of general control or management;

(iii)any employment or business carried on by you;

(iv)any person or body who employs or has appointed you;

(v)any person or body, other than a relevant authority, who has made a payment to you in respect of your election or any expenses incurred by you in carrying out your duties;

(vi)any person or body who has a place of business or land in your authority’s area, and in whom you have a beneficial interest in a class of securities of that person or body that exceeds the nominal value of £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital (whichever is the lower);

(vii)any contract for goods, services or works made between your authority and you or a firm in which you are a partner, a company of which you are a remunerated director, or a person or body of the description specified in paragraph (vi);

(viii)the interests of any person from whom you have received a gift or hospitality with an estimated value of at least £25;

(ix)any land in your authority’s area in which you have a beneficial interest;

(x)any land where the landlord is your authority and you are, or a firm in which you are a partner, a company of which you are a remunerated director, or a person or body of the description specified in paragraph (vi) is, the tenant;

(xi)any land in the authority’s area for which you have a licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy for 28 days or longer; or

(b)a decision in relation to that business might reasonably be regarded as affecting your well-being or financial position or the well-being or financial position of a relevant person to a greater extent than the majority of—

(i)(in the case of authorities with electoral divisions or wards) other council tax payers, ratepayers or inhabitants of the electoral division or ward, as the case may be, affected by the decision;

(ii)(in the case of the Greater London Authority) other council tax payers, ratepayers or inhabitants of the Assembly constituency affected by the decision; or

(iii)(in all other cases) other council tax payers, ratepayers or inhabitants of your authority’s area.

(2) In sub-paragraph (1)(b), a relevant person is—

(a)a member of your family or any person with whom you have a close association; or

(b)any person or body who employs or has appointed such persons, any firm in which they are a partner, or any company of which they are directors;

(c)any person or body in whom such persons have a beneficial interest in a class of securities exceeding the nominal value of £25,000; or

(d)any body of a type described in sub-paragraph (1)(a)(i) or (ii).

Disclosure of personal interests

9.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) to (7), where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority and you attend a meeting of your authority at which the business is considered, you must disclose to that meeting the existence and nature of that interest at the commencement of that consideration, or when the interest becomes apparent.

(2) Where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority which relates to or is likely to affect a person described in paragraph 8(1)(a)(i) or 8(1)(a)(ii)(aa), you need only disclose to the meeting the existence and nature of that interest when you address the meeting on that business.

(3) Where you have a personal interest in any business of the authority of the type mentioned in paragraph 8(1)(a)(viii), you need not disclose the nature or existence of that interest to the meeting if the interest was registered more than three years before the date of the meeting.

(4) Sub-paragraph (1) only applies where you are aware or ought reasonably to be aware of the existence of the personal interest.

(5) Where you have a personal interest but, by virtue of paragraph 14, sensitive information relating to it is not registered in your authority’s register of members’ interests, you must indicate to the meeting that you have a personal interest, but need not disclose the sensitive information to the meeting.

(6) Subject to paragraph 12(1)(b), where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority and you have made an executive decision in relation to that business, you must ensure that any written statement of that decision records the existence and nature of that interest.

(7) In this paragraph, “executive decision” is to be construed in accordance with any regulations made by the Secretary of State under section 22 of the Local Government Act 2000(16).

Prejudicial interest generally

10.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority you also have a prejudicial interest in that business where the interest is one which a member of the public with knowledge of the relevant facts would reasonably regard as so significant that it is likely to prejudice your judgement of the public interest.

(2) You do not have a prejudicial interest in any business of the authority where that business—

(a)does not affect your financial position or the financial position of a person or body described in paragraph 8;

(b)does not relate to the determining of any approval, consent, licence, permission or registration in relation to you or any person or body described in paragraph 8; or

(c)relates to the functions of your authority in respect of—

(i)housing, where you are a tenant of your authority provided that those functions do not relate particularly to your tenancy or lease;

(ii)school meals or school transport and travelling expenses, where you are a parent or guardian of a child in full time education, or are a parent governor of a school, unless it relates particularly to the school which the child attends;

(iii)statutory sick pay under Part XI of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, where you are in receipt of, or are entitled to the receipt of, such pay;

(iv)an allowance, payment or indemnity given to members;

(v)any ceremonial honour given to members; and

(vi)setting council tax or a precept under the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Prejudicial interests arising in relation to overview and scrutiny committees

11.  You also have a prejudicial interest in any business before an overview and scrutiny committee of your authority (or of a sub-committee of such a committee) where—

(a)that business relates to a decision made (whether implemented or not) or action taken by your authority’s executive or another of your authority’s committees, sub-committees, joint committees or joint sub-committees; and

(b)at the time the decision was made or action was taken, you were a member of the executive, committee, sub-committee, joint committee or joint sub-committee mentioned in paragraph (a) and you were present when that decision was made or action was taken.

Effect of prejudicial interests on participation

12.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), where you have a prejudicial interest in any business of your authority—

(a)you must withdraw from the room or chamber where a meeting considering the business is being held—

(i)in a case where sub-paragraph (2) applies, immediately after making representations, answering questions or giving evidence;

(ii)in any other case, whenever it becomes apparent that the business is being considered at that meeting;

unless you have obtained a dispensation from your authority’s standards committee;

(b)you must not exercise executive functions in relation to that business; and

(c)you must not seek improperly to influence a decision about that business.

(2) Where you have a prejudicial interest in any business of your authority, you may attend a meeting (including a meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee of your authority or of a sub-committee of such a committee) but only for the purpose of making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the business, provided that the public are also allowed to attend the meeting for the same purpose, whether under a statutory right or otherwise.

Part 3Registration of Members’ Interests

Registration of members’ interests

13.—(1) Subject to paragraph 14, you must, within 28 days of—

(a)this Code being adopted by or applied to your authority; or

(b)your election or appointment to office (where that is later),

register in your authority’s register of members’ interests (maintained under section 81(1) of the Local Government Act 2000) details of your personal interests where they fall within a category mentioned in paragraph 8(1)(a), by providing written notification to your authority’s monitoring officer.

(2) Subject to paragraph 14, you must, within 28 days of becoming aware of any new personal interest or change to any personal interest registered under paragraph (1), register details of that new personal interest or change by providing written notification to your authority’s monitoring officer.

Sensitive information

14.—(1) Where you consider that the information relating to any of your personal interests is sensitive information, and your authority’s monitoring officer agrees, you need not include that information when registering that interest, or, as the case may be, a change to that interest under paragraph 13.

(2) You must, within 28 days of becoming aware of any change of circumstances which means that information excluded under paragraph (1) is no longer sensitive information, notify your authority’s monitoring officer asking that the information be included in your authority’s register of members’ interests.

(3) In this Code, “sensitive information” means information whose availability for inspection by the public creates, or is likely to create, a serious risk that you or a person who lives with you may be subjected to violence or intimidation.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order)

The Order contains a model code of conduct as regards the conduct which is expected of members and co-opted members of relevant authorities in England and police authorities in England and Wales. The Secretary of State has power to issue such a code under section 50 of the Local Government Act 2000. Under section 51 of that Act, each authority must adopt a code of conduct applying to its members and co-opted members which must incorporate any mandatory provisions of the Code. Under section 51(5), where an authority does not adopt such a code within six months of the Order coming into force, the mandatory provisions of the Code will apply to the members of the authority until it adopts its own code.

Article 1 provides that this Order applies to specified authorities in England and police authorities in England and Wales.

Article 2 provides that a model code is set out in the Schedule to the Order, and states which of its provisions are mandatory.

Article 3 disapplies the statutory provisions relating to the National Code of Local Government Conduct and members’ interests.

Article 4 revokes—

the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001(17);

the Parish Councils (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2001(18);

the National Park and Broads Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001(19); and

the Police Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2001(20).

These Orders continue to have effect in relation to misconduct committed before the date when the new code is adopted or applied to an authority.

Article 4(3) provides that orders made under section 83 of the Local Government Act 1972 shall have effect for the purpose of prescribing the form of a declaration of acceptance of office.

In the Schedule to the Order

Paragraph 1 of the Code provides that the Code applies to any member of an authority and that it is the responsibility of each member to comply with the Code.

Paragraph 2 of the Code provides that the Code applies whenever a member is acting in his or her official capacity, and in relation to conduct in a member’s private capacity the code only applies where such conduct has resulted in a criminal conviction. Additionally, where a member is acting as a representative of his or her authority, he or she must continue to observe the authority’s code, unless he or she is subject to another relevant authority’s code, or unless (in relation to any other body) it conflicts with any other legal obligations.

Paragraph 3 of the Code provides that members must treat others with respect and not do anything which may cause their authority to breach equality legislation, or which compromises the impartiality of those who work for the authority or bully anyone or intimate persons involved in code of conduct cases.

Paragraph 4 of the Code provides that members must not without consent disclose confidential information they have acquired and must not prevent others from gaining access to information to which they are entitled.

Paragraph 5 of the Code provides that a member must not conduct himself or herself in a manner which could bring his or her authority into disrepute.

Paragraph 6 of the Code provides that a member must not use his or her position improperly to gain an advantage or confer a disadvantage and that when using or authorising the use of the authority’s resources, he or she must act in accordance with the authority’s reasonable requirements, must not permit those resources to be used for political purposes and must have regard to the Local Authority Code of Publicity.

Paragraph 7 of the Code provides that a member must have regard to advice given by the chief finance officer and monitoring officer and must give reasons for decisions made.

Paragraph 8 of the Code provides a list of matters which constitute a personal interest.

Paragraph 9 of the Code provides that generally a member with a personal interest in any business of his or her authority must disclose that interest at any meeting at which the business is considered.

Paragraph 10 of the Code provides that generally a member with a personal interest also has a prejudicial interest if the interest could be regarded by a member of the public as so significant that it is likely to prejudice his or her judgement of the public interest. The paragraph provides that in specified circumstances a member may regard himself as not having a prejudicial interest.

Paragraph 11 of the Code provides that a member who was involved in making a decision or taking action on a matter must not be involved in the overview and scrutiny committee’s consideration of that decision or action.

Paragraph 12 of the Code provides that a member with a prejudicial interest must, unless, for example, he or she is making representations and members of the public are also allowed to make representations on that matter, or he or she has obtained a dispensation, withdraw from any meetings at which the business is being considered, and must not improperly influence decisions in relation to the business.

Paragraph 13 of the Code provides that a member must notify the monitoring officer of his or her personal interests and any change to those interests must also be notified.

Paragraph 14 of the Code provides that a member may notify the monitoring officer of any sensitive information the availability of which to the public creates, or is likely to create, a serious risk that the member or a person who lives with him or her may be subjected to violence or intimidation.

(2)

See the Relevant Authorities (General Principles) Order 20001 (S.I. 2001/1401).

(4)

1974 c.7. Section 30(3A) was inserted by section 32(1) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (c. 42), with effect from 1st April 1990.

(12)

Orders made under section 83 of the Local Government Act 1972 were disapplied, by the Orders mentioned in article 4(1)(a) and (b) of this Order, and are here being revived.

(13)

See the Relevant Authorities (General Principles) Order 2001 (S.I. 2001/1401).

(14)

2006 c.3.

(15)

1986 c.10.

(16)

See the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations (S.I 2000/3272).

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