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Have you completed your consultation questionnaire?

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Hi everyone,

You may or may not be aware of the extremely important consultation NALC are undertaking with Parish/Town Council's regarding the Model Code of Conduct and any potential sanctions against COUNCILLORS for breaches.

Please see the link here: https://www.local.gov.uk/code-conduct-consultation-2020

It's really important that you complete this to form to give your feedback.

Thanks in advance.
asked by (3.7k points)

2 Answers

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Chloe as a solicitor how do you see the new code of conduct clashing with the decisions in the Harvey v Ledbury Town Council case.

It would appear that the new "model" code of conduct could be seen as an attempt to circumvent that ruling
answered by (2.3k points)
selected by
Morning.
Good question. I think Harvey vs LTC highlighted the need for change and clarity on what is and is not allowed as way of sanction relating to various matters.

Whilst the verdict was clear, the impact is still not.
My opinion on the model code of conduct is that it will provide that clarity on what sanctions can now be enforced and under what circumstances which will remove both the uncertainty and ignorance towards the current model.

However as a Solicitor and Cllr I don’t feel the consultation goes deep enough or explores sanctions wide enough.

For me the questions as follow remain:

• Who will impose such sanctions?
• Can the process be considered completely independent (I don’t believe a MO is).
• Should there be a removal of voting rights for a meeting or several meetings before suspension?
• How involved should the wider PC/TC be in relation to any breach?

I think NALC have possibly been too simplistic with their approach and not asked the right questions. It’s a very poor consultation document in my opinion.
As you point out a veritable minefield in which to walk. There is of course the basic question of on who's authority can sanctions be brought against an elected member of the council which effectively can curtail their ability to carry out the duties they were elected to carry out? The codes of conduct are only advisory and are only given "teeth" when adopted by full council. Correct me if I am wrong but the Ledbury case revolved around who could and could not bring sanctions against a councillor (in this case a town council).
My opinion concurs with yours that NALC have appointed themselves as judge and jury on what parish councils should do and this is omnipotence is reinforced by councillor's apathy in their duty in not doing their job and examining and understanding what they adopt unquestioningly.
Absolutely agree. The process should ideally be removed from NALC as it blurs the lines of what they are set up to do!
In my opinion, much like the work of Parish Council’s this is a reactive approach to a problem. I’m quite vocal on what I believe should be implemented and that is a completely independent ombudsman.

Parish and Town Councils are only going to get more powerful as responsibility continues to be trickled down.
Unlike the Officers Cllr’s get little to no training and that we do is often extremely poor as it’s ran by archaic local associations. Given our legal responsibility we should have appropriate training.
Sadly not enough people who stand for Councillor are aware of what should or shouldn’t be and therefore feel unable to speak out and voice their concerns.
Totally agree the days of the vicar of Dibly style PC's should be long gone and full basic training for councillors should be mandatory within the first 6 months. The rest should be on the job via experienced councillors mentoring. Training should NOT be the domain of NALC local offices which in my experience, I am afraid play the NALC control game rather than benefiting the council that pays them a fee.
The problem is it'll never happen until people come together.
Politically unions don't align with me very well but sometimes they can be quite effective. A union for Councillors would be particularly beneficial.
Rather than assuming the Clerk will forward consultation to all Councillors NALC should contact Councillors directly when undertaking research to get an honest account of our feelings and/or thoughts.
I agree with everything from Chloe below:
• Who will impose such sanctions?
• Can the process be considered completely independent (I don’t believe a MO is).
• Should there be a removal of voting rights for a meeting or several meetings before suspension?
• How involved should the wider PC/TC be in relation to any breach?

I think NALC have possibly been too simplistic with their approach and not asked the right questions. It’s a very poor consultation document in my opinion.
I agree that the approach is far too simplistic and focuses far too much on the code itself and not enough about the proposed sanctions. I strongly believe NALC see themselves as being representative of the 80,000 + Councillors in the UK when in my experience of 4 Parish Councils they really are not!
+1 vote

Yes!  And it permits people who do not work for, or are members of a local authority to participate.

"Thank you for responding to the consultation on the draft Model Code of Conduct, please find a copy of the ansers (sic) you provided attached."

answered by (11.9k points)
NALC are they omnipotent ?

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