Localism Act 2011 – Adoption of new Code of Conduct

Notice is hereby given that Silverdale Parish Council RESOLVED to adopt the Lancaster City Council model of a new Code of Conduct with the exception of Section 2 pertaining to “other interests” at its meeting on6th August 2012 to meet the requirements of the Localism Act 2011. The code deals with the conduct that is expected of members and co-opted members of the council when they are acting in that capacity. The code also makes provision for the registration and disclosure of interests as provided for in the Act. The completed declaration forms can be viewed at Lancaster City Council.

Silverdale Parish Council



This Preamble provides an explanatory introduction to the Members’ Code of Conduct. It does not form part of the Code of Conduct, and in the event of any conflict between the Preamble and the Code, the Code shall take precedence.

The Parish Council has adopted the following code dealing with the conduct that is expected of members and co-opted members of the Authority when they are acting in that capacity, as required by section 27 of the Localism Act 2011 (“the Act”).

The Council has a statutory duty under the Act to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Members, and the Code sets out the standards that the Council expects Members to observe.

The Code is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the obligations that are placed on Members.  It is the responsibility of individual Members to comply with the provisions of the Code and any other requirements of the Council as well as such other legal obligations as may apply to them from time to time. Failure to do so may result in a sanction being applied by the Council.  Failure to take appropriate action in respect of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest may result in a criminal conviction and a fine of up to £5,000 and/or disqualification from office for a period of up to 5 years.

Members have a responsibility to ensure that they comply with the Code of Conduct in all respects. They should regularly review their personal circumstances and intended actions in the context of the Code.

If in doubt, Members should seek advice from the Clerk, but the final decision and responsibility on how to act rests with Members themselves.

Members should not do anything in their capacity as councillors, which they could not justify to the public or could not justify by law. Members’ conduct and what the public believe about their conduct will affect the reputation and credibility of Members and the Council as a whole.

It is not enough to avoid impropriety; perception is also important. Members should at all times
avoid any occasion for suspicion and any appearance of improper conduct.


The Code is intended to be consistent with the following seven principles, as required by the Act.

Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.

In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

Holders of public office should be as open as possible about the decisions and actions that they take.  They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands

Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest

Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and by example, and should act in a way that secures or preserves public confidence.


Part  A
General provisions

Introduction and interpretation

1. (1) This Code applies to you as a member of the Council

(2) It is your responsibility to comply with the provisions of this Code.

(3) In this Code—

“meeting” means any meeting of—

(a) the authority; or

(b) any committee of the authority
“member” includes a co-opted member and an appointed member.


2. (1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2) you must comply with this Code whenever you—

(a) conduct the business of your authority (which, in this Code, includes the business of the office to which you are elected or appointed); or

(b) act, claim to act or give the impression you are acting as a representative of your authority,

and references to your official capacity are construed accordingly.

(2) This Code does not have effect in relation to your conduct other than where it is in your official capacity.

General obligations

3.    (1) You must treat others with respect.

(2) You must not—

(a) do anything which may cause your authority to breach the Equality Act 2010 (or        subsequent legislation)

(b) bully any person;

(c) intimidate or attempt to intimidate any person who is or is likely to be—

(i) a complainant,

(ii) a witness, or

(iii) involved in the administration of any investigation or proceedings,

in relation to an allegation that a member (including yourself) has failed to comply with his or her authority’s code of conduct; or

(d) do anything which compromises or is likely to compromise the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, the Council.

4. You must not—

(a) disclose information given to you in confidence by anyone, or information acquired by you which you believe, or ought reasonably to be aware, is of a confidential nature, except where—

(i) you have the consent of a person authorised to give it;

(ii) you are required by law to do so;

(iii) the disclosure is made to a third party for the purpose of obtaining professional advice provided that the third party agrees not to disclose the information to any other person; or

(iv) the disclosure is—

(aa) reasonable and in the public interest; and

(bb) made in good faith and in compliance with the reasonable requirements of the Council; or

(b) prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law.

5. You must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing the Council or the office of councillor into disrepute.

6, You must:
(a) champion the needs of residents- the whole community and in a special way your     constituents, including those who did not vote for you – and put their interests first, and

(b) deal with representations or inquiries from residents and visitors, fairly, appropriately     and impartially

7. You—

(a) must not use or attempt to use your position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for yourself or any other person, an advantage or disadvantage; and

(b) must, when using or authorising the use by others of the resources of the Council—

(i) act in accordance with the Council’s reasonable requirements;

(ii) ensure that such resources are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes); and

(c) must have regard to any applicable Local Authority Code of Publicity made under the Local Government Act 1986.

8.  You must give reasons for all decisions in accordance with any statutory requirements and any reasonable additional requirements imposed by the Council.

Part B

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

This part explains the statutory requirements of the Localism Act 2011 (Sections 29-34) in relation to disclosable pecuniary interests. These are enforced by criminal sanction.

1.  Notification of disclosable pecuniary interests

Within 28 days of becoming a member or co-opted member, you must notify the City Council’s Monitoring Officer of any ‘disclosable pecuniary interests’.

A ‘disclosable pecuniary interest’ is an interest of yourself or your partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom you are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom you are living as if you are civil partners) of the following descriptions:
(a)    Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain
(b)     Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your 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.
(c)    Details of any contract which is made between the relevant person (or a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and which has not been fully discharged.
(d)    Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.
(e)    Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.
(f)    Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge) the landlord is the relevant authority; and the tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.
(g)    Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where that body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority; and either the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or if that 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.
For the purposes of the foregoing “relevant authority” means the Parish Council; “relevant period” means the period of 12 months ending with the day on which you notify the Monitoring Officer of your disclosable pecuniary interest, and “relevant person” means you or your spouse or partner as defined above.

2.  Register of interests
Any interests notified to the Monitoring Officer will be included in the register of interests.

A copy of the register will be available for public inspection and will be published on the Council’s  website and the City Council’s website.

3.  Sensitive interests
Where you consider that disclosure of the details of a disclosable pecuniary interest could lead to you, or a person connected with you, being subject to violence or intimidation, and the Monitoring Officer agrees, if the interest is entered on the register, copies of the register that are made available for inspection and any published version of the register will exclude details of the interest, but may state that you have a disclosable pecuniary interest, the details of which are withheld under Section 32(2) of the Localism Act 2011.

4, Non participation in case of disclosable pecuniary interest
If you are present at a meeting of the Council,   or any committee, and you have a disclosable pecuniary interest in any matter to be considered or being considered at the meeting:
•    You may not participate in any discussion of the matter at the meeting.
•    You  may not participate in any vote taken on the matter at the meeting.
•    If  the interest is not registered, you must disclose the interest to the  meeting.
•    If  the interest is not registered and is not the subject of a pending notification, you must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days.

In addition, the Council Procedure Rules require you to leave the room where the meeting is held while any discussion or voting takes place.

5. Dispensations

The Council may grant you a dispensation, but only in limited circumstances, to enable you to participate and vote on a matter in which you have a disclosable pecuniary interest.

6. Offences
It is a criminal offence to
•    Fail to notify the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of election of any disclosable pecuniary interest
•    Fail to disclose a disclosable pecuniary interest at a meeting if it is not on the register
•    Fail to notify the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of a disclosable pecuniary interest that is not on the register that you have disclosed to a meeting
•    Participate in any discussion or vote on a matter in which you have a disclosable pecuniary interest
•    .Knowingly or recklessly provide information that is false or misleading in notifying the Monitoring Officer of a disclosable pecuniary interest or in disclosing such interest to a meeting

The criminal penalties available to a court are to impose a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale and disqualification from being a councillor for up to 5 years.

7. Notification of changes
Whilst not a requirement of the statute, the Council under this Code of Conduct requires you to notify the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of any new disclosable pecuniary interest, or any change to a disclosable pecunuiary interest already notified/registered.