Parish Council Code of Conduct
PART 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
1. A member must observe the Parish Council's code of conduct whenever he or she
a. conducts the business of the Parish Council;
b. conducts the business of the office to which he or she has been elected or appointed, or
c. acts as a representative of the Parish Council
and references to a member's official capacity shall be construed accordingly.
2. A Parish Council's code of conduct shall not, apart from "paragraphs 4 & 5(a) below, have effect in relation to the activities of a member undertaken other than in an official capacity.
3. Where a member acts as a representative of the Parish Council
a. on another relevant authority, he or she must, when acting for that other authority, comply with that other authority's code of conduct,*, or
b. on any other body, he or she must, when acting for that other body, comply with the Parish Council's code of conduct, except and insofar as it conflicts with any other lawful obligations to which that other body may be subject.
4. In this code
A "member" includes a co-opted member of a Parish Council; and "responsible authority" means a Wakefield Metropolitan District Council which has functions in relation to the parish councils for which it is responsible under section 55(12) of the Local Government Act 2000
1. A Member must
a. promote equality by not discriminating unlawfully against any person;
b. treat others with respect; and
c. not do anything which compromises or which is likely to compromise the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, the Parish Council.
2. A Member must not
a. disclose information given to him or her in confidence by anyone, or information acquired which he or she believes is of a confidential nature, without the consent of a person authorised to give it, or unless he or she is required by law to do so, nor
b. prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law.
3. A member must not in his or her official capacity or in any other circumstance, conduct himself or herself in a manner, which could reasonably be regarded as bringing his or her office or Parish Council into serious disrepute.
4. A member
a. must not, in his or her official capacity, or any other circumstance, use his or her position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for himself, herself or any other person, an advantage or disadvantage; and
b. must, when using or authorising the use by others of the resources of the Parish Council,
c. act in accordance with the Parish Council's requirements and
d. ensure that such resources are not used for political purposes unless that use could reasonably be regarded as likely to facilitate, or be conductive to, the discharge of the functions of the Parish Council or of the office to which the member has been elected or appointed.
A member must, if he or she becomes aware of any conduct by another member, which he or she reasonably believes involves a failure to comply with the Parish Council's code of conduct, make a written allegation to that effect to the Standards Board for England as soon as it is practicable for him or her to do so.
PART 2 - INTERESTS
1. A member must regard himself or herself as having a personal interest in any matter if the matter relates to an interest in respect of which notification must be given under paragraphs 12 and 13 below, or if a decision upon it might reasonably be regarded as affecting to a greater extent than other council tax payers, ratepayers, or inhabitants of the Parish Council's area, the well being or financial position of himself or herself, a relative or a friend or:
a. any employment or business carried on by such person
b. any person 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 corporate body in which such persons have a beneficial interest in a class of securities exceeding the nominal value of £5,000; or
d. anybody listed in sub paragraphs (a) to (e) of paragraph 13 below in which such persons hold a position of general control or management.
2. In this paragraph
a. "relative" means a spouse, partner, parent, parent-in-law, son, daughter, step-son, step-daughter, child of a partner, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or the spouse or partner of any of the preceding persons; and
b. "partner" in sub paragraph (2)(a) above means a member of a couple who live together.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
1. A member with a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the Parish Council at which the matter is considered must disclose to that meeting the existence and nature of that interest at the commencement of that consideration, or when the interest becomes apparent.
1. Subject to sub-paragraph (2.) below, a member with a personal interest in a matter also has a prejudicial interest in that matter if 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 the member's judgement of the public interest.
2. A member may regard himself or herself as not having a prejudicial interest if that matter relates to:
a. another relevant Parish Council of which he or she is a member;
b. another public authority in which he or she holds a position of general control or management;
c. a body to which he or she has been appointed or nominated by the Parish Council as its representative.,
d. any functions of the Parish Council in respect of statutory sick pay under Part Xl of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, where the member is in receipt of, or is entitled to the receipt of such pay from a relevant Parish Council; and
e. any functions of the Parish Council in respect of an allowance or payment made under sections 173 to 173A and 175 to 176 of the Local Government Act 1972 or section 18 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
PARTICIPATION IN RELATION TO DISCLOSED INTEREST
1. A member with a prejudicial interest in any matter must:
a. withdraw from the room or chamber where a meeting is being held wherever it becomes apparent that the matter is being considered, unless he or she has obtained a dispensation from the standards committee of the responsible authority; and
not seek improperly to influence a decision about that matter.
2. For the purposes of this Part, "meeting" means any meeting of
a. the Parish Council; or
b. any of the Parish Council's committees, sub committees, joint committees or joint sub committees.
PART 3 - THE REGISTER OF MEMBERS INTERESTS
REGISTER OF FINANCIAL AND OTHER INTERESTS
1. Within 28 days of the provisions of a Parish Council's code of conduct being adopted or applied to that Parish Council or within 28 days of his election or appointment of office (if that is later), a member must register his financial interest in the Parish Council's register maintained under section 81 (1) of the Local Government Act 2000 by providing written notification to the monitoring officer of the responsible Parish Council of :
a. any employment, or business carried on by him or her
b. the name of the person who employs or has appointed him or her, the name of any firm in which he or she is a partner, and the name of any company for which he or she is a remunerated director;
c. the name of any person other than a relevant Parish Council,, who has made a payment to him or her in respect of his election or any expenses incurred by him or her carrying out his or her duties;
d. the name of any corporate, body which has a place of business or land in the Parish Council's area, where the member has a beneficial interest in a class of securities of that body which exceeds the value of £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body;
e. a description of any contract for goods, services or works made between the Parish Council and him or her, a firm in which he or she is a partner, a company of which he or she is a director or a body of the description in paragraph (d) above;
f. the address or other description (sufficient to identify the location) of any land in which he or she has a beneficial interest and which is in the area of the Parish Council;
g. the address or other description (sufficient to identify the location) of any land where the landlord is the Parish Council and the tenant is a firm in which he or she are a partner, a company of which he or she is a director or a body of the description in paragraph (d) above; and
h. he address or other description (sufficient to identify the location) of any land in the Parish Council's area in which he or she has a licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy, for 28 days or longer, and
2. Within 28 days of the provisions of the Parish Council's code of conduct being adopted or applied to that Parish Council or within 28 days of his or her election or appointment to office (if that is later), a member must register his other interests in the Parish Council's register maintained under section 81(1) of the Local Government Act 2000 by providing written notification to the monitoring officer of the responsible authority of his or her membership of or position of general control or management in any:
a. body to which he or she has been appointed or nominated by the Parish Council as a representative.
b. public authority or body exercising functions of a public nature;
c. company, industrial and provident society, charity, or body directed to charitable purposes;
d. body whose principal purposes include the influence of public opinion or policy, and
e. trade union or professional association.
3. A member must within 28 days of becoming aware of any change to the interest specified under paragraphs 12 and 13 above, provide written notification to the monitoring officer of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council of that change.
REGISTRATION OF GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY
A member must within 28 days of receiving any gift or hospitality over the value of £25, provide written notification to the monitoring officer of the Wakefield Metropolitan District Council of the existence and nature of that gift or hospitality.