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Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021

Section 62 - Duties of leaders of political groups in relation to standards of conduct

336.Part 3 of the 2000 Act established a statutory framework to promote and maintain high standards of ethical conduct by members and employees of relevant authorities in Wales. A “relevant authority” is a principal council, community council, fire and rescue authority or National Park authority.

337.Engendering a culture within a local authority which embraces high standards of conduct requires both local leadership and all members to accept responsibility for their actions both individually and collectively.

338.Building on the existing arrangements, section 62 inserts a new section 52A into the 2000 Act which places a duty on leaders of political groups within a principal council to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by members of their group. Group leaders are required to co-operate with the council’s standards committee in the exercise of its general and specific functions for promoting high standards (see below).

339.Subsection (3) amends section 54 of the 2000 Act to extend the specific functions of a standards committee to include monitoring compliance by leaders of political groups with the new duty imposed on them by the Act to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by members of their group. A standards committee must also provide advice or provide or arrange training for group leaders on the new duty.

340.Section 106(5) of the 2000 Act is redundant (see section 105(1) of that Act), and is therefore omitted by subsection (4)(a) of this section. The other amendments made by this section are consequential in nature, or reflect the possibility that section 63 of the Act may be commenced before this section.

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