What implications has the Report "Local Government Ethical Standards Committee" for Parish/Town Councils?

0 votes
The role of Monitoring Officer's is strengthened.
asked by (2k points)

1 Answer

+2 votes

There are 26 recommendations in the report, but if there is no will to implement them there will be no implications. Even if they are, what is not there unless I have missed something is the opportunity for the Local Gov Ombudsman to investigate maladministration by Town/Parish Councils. The first recommendation is "

"The Local Government Association should create an updated model code of conduct, in consultation with representative bodies of councillors and officers of all tiers of local government".  But the implications are meaningless unless it is implemented.
answered by (950 points)
Most members of the public don't read the auditor's report, in fact most won't even know it exists so sorry but the public won't be stirred into action, and arguing they have accepted to pay a higher precept is a sweeping assumption gone too far.  
The street lighting is very interesting since most two tier principal authorities have the County Council as the Highways authority who deal with all aspects of street lighting, unless it is delegated to a specific lighting Authority.  Have your PC agreed to act as the Lighting Authority?  (If so I would argue it was an ill informed decision).  If not why are you being asked to pay for maintenance at all, especially if the Highways have been adopted from whoever acts as the lighting authority if it is not the County Council?  Unless a bulb goes out, what is there to maintain? Has  your Parish Council been asking these questions of whoever acts as the Highways authority in its boundary? I would be interested to know why this has arisen!
There were no street lights.  People wanted some.  The Parish Council installed some.
If the PC installed the streetlights, why are the District Council billing you for maintenance?  Were the County Council approached to provide street lighting? If so what reason did they give for not providing street lighting?
The cost of providing adequate lighting for our parish would be in excess of £1m, or £1,500 per head of population.  Parishes have traditionally provided their own, one or two at a time, as finances permit, over the last 60 years, since we got electricity in the villages.  When the District Council was established, they kindly agreed to contribute to the ongoing energy and maintenance cost, but with no transfer of ownership.  Insurance remained a parish liability.  These are old lights.  They need regular maintenance, cleaning, safety checks etc.  Now the District Council has ceased funding them, as it can no longer justify this level of expenditure on assets it does not own.  End of story.
For me, some parts of your story are still missing.  However, if you had to hold a referendum for that level of rise and explained to paritioners that without the rise, the lights would go onto decline I am sure they would back it, or press you to find an alternative maintenance scheme.

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