Lichfield City Council Code of Conduct
(Pursuant to section 27 of the Localism Act 2011 and applicable from 1 July 2012)
Conduct in public life
When acting in your capacity as a membera of Lichfield City Council (‘the Council’) you must promote and support high standards of conduct. In particular you shall have regard to the following principles:
- Selflessness: You should act solely in terms of the public interest, and should not seek to gain financial or other material benefits for yourself, your family, or your friends.
- Integrity: You should not place yourself under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence you in the performance of your official duties.
- Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, you should make choices on merit.
- Accountability: You are accountable for your decisions and actions to the public and must submit yourself to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to your office.
- Openness: You should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that you take. You should give reasons for your decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
- Honesty: You have a duty to declare any private interests relating to your public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
- Leadership: You should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
For the purposes of this Code, a ‘meeting’ is a meeting of the Council, any of its committees, subcommittees,
working parties, joint committees or joint sub-committees.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.
1. He/she shall behave in such a way that a reasonable person would regard as respectful.
2. He/she shall not act in a way which a reasonable person would regard as bullying or intimidatory.
3. He/she shall not seek to improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person.
4. He/she shall use the resources of the Council in accordance with its requirements.
6.He/she shall not disclose information which is confidential or where disclosure is prohibited by law.
Registration of interests
6. Within 28 days of this Code being adopted by the Council, or the member’s election or the co-opted member’s appointment (where that is later), a member shall register with the Monitoring Officer of Lichfield District Council the interests which fall within the categories set out in Appendices A and B.
a Within this Code of Conduct the term “member” also includes a co-opted member, and the term “co-opted member” is a
person who is not a member of the authority but who—
(a) is a member of any committee or sub-committee of the authority, or
(b) is a member of, and represents the authority on, any joint committee or joint sub-committee of the authority, and who is
entitled to vote on any question that falls to be decided at any meeting of that committee or sub-committee.
7. Upon the re-election of a member or the re-appointment of a co-opted member, the member shall within 28 days re-register with the Monitoring Officer any interests in Appendices A and B.
8. A member shall register with the Monitoring Officer any change to interests or new interests in Appendices A and B within 28 days of becoming aware of it.
9. 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.
Declaration of interests at meetings
9. Where a matter arises at a meeting which relates to an interest in Appendix A the member shall withdraw from the meeting room and not participate in the discussion or voting on the matter. The member only has to declare the nature of the interest at the meeting if it is not already entered in the member’s register of interests or is pending registration having been notified to the Monitoring Officer.
10. Where a matter arises at a meeting which relates to an interest in Appendix A which is a sensitive interest, 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 Monitoring Officer, the member shall disclose the existence of the interest but not the nature of it.
11. Where a matter arises at a meeting which relates to an interest in Appendix B the member shallnot vote on the matter.
12. A member only has to declare an interest in Appendix B if it is not already entered in the member’s register of interests or is pending registration having been notified to the Monitoring Officer, or if the member speaks on the matter. If the member holds an interest in Appendix B which is a sensitive interest not already disclosed to the Monitoring Officer, he/she shall declare the interest but not the nature of the interest.
13. 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 speak or vote on the matter. If it is a ‘sensitive interest’ the member shall declare the interest but not the nature of the interest.
14. On a written request made to the Council’s proper officer, the Council may grant a member a dispensation to participate in a discussion and vote on a matter at a meeting even if the member has an interest in Appendices A and B if the Council considers that:
a. without the dispensation the number of persons prohibited from participating in any particular business would be so great a proportion of the body transacting the business as to impede the transaction of the business
b. without the dispensation the representation of different political groups on the body transacting any particular business would be so upset as to alter the likely outcome of any vote relating to the business
c. granting the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the authority's area
d. it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.
Interests defined by regulations made under section 30(3) of the Localism Act 2011 and described below.
Employment, Office, Trade, Profession or Vocation - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.
Sponsorship - 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 6 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.
Contracts - Any contract made between the member or between his/her spouse or civil partner or the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners (or a body in which such a person is a partner in a firm, a director of an incorporated body or holds the beneficial interest in securities) 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.
Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the Council.
Licences - Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.
Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy where (to the member's knowledge) - (a) the landlord is the Council; and (b) the tenant is a body in which the member, or his/her spouse or civil partner / the person with whom the member is living as if they were spouses/civil partners has a beneficial interest.
Securities* - 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 relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.
*‘Securities’ means shares, debentures, debenture stock, loan stock, bonds, units of a collective investment scheme within the
meaning of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and other securities of any description, other than money deposited
with a building society.Appendix B
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.Code of Conduct (PDF Copy)