Winterbourne Parish Council Code of Conduct
(adopted at the Winterbourne Parish Council meeting held on 16th March 2022)
1. Code of Conduct
You are a member or co-opted member of Winterbourne Parish Council and hence you shall have regard to the following principles - selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
You must promote and support high standards of conduct when serving in your public post, in particular as characterised by the following requirements, by leadership and example
Accordingly, when acting in your capacity as a member or co-opted member:
You must act solely in the public interest and should never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person or act to gain financial or other material benefits for yourself, your family, a friend or close associate.
You must not place yourself under a financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence you in the performance of your official duties.
When carrying out your public duties you must make all choices, such as making public appointments, awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits, on merit.
You are accountable for your decisions to the public and you must co-operate fully with whatever scrutiny is appropriate to your office.
You must be as open as possible about your decisions and actions and the decisions and actions of your authority, and should be prepared to give reasons for those decisions and actions.
You must, when using or authorising the use by others of the resources of the Council, ensure that such resources are used only in accordance with its requirements. Such resources may not be used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes) and you must have regard to any applicable Local Authority Code of Publicity made under the Local Government Act 1986.
You must behave in such a way that a reasonable person would regard as respectful.
You must not act in a way which a reasonable person would regard as bullying or intimidating.
You must not disclose information which is confidential or where disclosure is prohibited by law.
2. Registering and declaring pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests
All councillors shall, within 28 days of election or appointment, complete the register of interests on the Wiltshire Council website on their own behalf and for relevant interests of Spouse/Civil Partner/Cohabitee at https://services.wiltshire.gov.uk/townandparish/roi
At each meeting of the Parish Council each member shall declare any personal interest relevant to any item on the agenda. A relevant interest is one which may, or may be perceived to, affect the impartiality of the member or from which the member or their spouse or partner may derive personal benefit.
Unless he has been granted a dispensation, a councillor shall withdraw from a meeting when it is considering a matter in which he has a disclosable pecuniary interest, or another interest as defined by (b) above. He may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he had the interest.
Dispensation requests shall be in writing and submitted to the Proper Officer as soon as possible before the meeting, or failing that, at the start of the meeting for which the dispensation is required.
A decision as to whether to grant a dispensation shall be made (i) when submitted prior to a meeting by the Proper Officer in consultation with the Chairman, or (ii) for an interest declared at the start of a meeting, by the Council following a proposal from the Chairman.
The Chairman may propose to the Council that a declared interest be discounted if he considers that matter unlikely to affect the member's impartiality.
A dispensation request shall confirm:
the description and the nature of the disclosable pecuniary interest or other interest to which the request for the dispensation relates;
whether the dispensation is required to participate at a meeting in a discussion only or a discussion and a vote;
the date of the meeting or the period (not exceeding four years) for which the dispensation is sought; and
an explanation as to why the dispensation is sought.
A dispensation may be granted if having regard to all relevant circumstances any of the following apply:
without the dispensation the number of persons prohibited from participating in the particular business would be so great a proportion of the meeting transacting the business as to impede the transaction of the business;
granting the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the Council's area; or
it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.