What is the ethical framework?
The council has adopted the Model Code of Conduct for County Councils in Wales. The Code sets out the standards of conduct that Members are expected to follow when they are carrying out council business or representing the council.
Declarations of Interest
The Code sets out in detail the rules about declaring outside interests. Councillors must register their financial and other interests in the Council's Register of Interests. The Code also says that councillors should record all offers all gifts and hospitality valued at £25 or more, whether they accepted them or not. Both registers can be inspected by the public.
A councillor with an interest must declare it. If a member has an outside interest that could be seen to affect their ability to act purely on the merits of the case and in the public interest, the councillor must also withdraw from discussing the matter at a meeting unless by the authority's Standards Committee gives them permission to take part. Details of the dispensations granted by the Standards Committee can be found by clicking on the following link.
The Council has a Standards Committee made up of 4 councillors and 5 independent members. The committee promotes and maintains high standards of conduct and to makes sure councillors follow the Code of Conduct.
Officers' Code of Conduct
The Council follows the Code of Conduct (Qualifying Local Government Employees) (Wales) Order 2001. This sets out the standards of conduct that the public are entitled to expect from council staff. Officers must act with integrity, honesty, impartiality and objectivity and must register any offers of gifts or hospitality, whether accepted or not, and this register is open to public inspection.
- Protocol concerning gifts and hospitality
- Guidance in respect of lobbying concerning planning matters
- Protocol on Member/Officer Relations
- Protocol on Committee membership
- Protocol on Members' rights to information (being drafted)
The Model Code of Conduct for County Councils in Wales is different from the English version. The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales investigates allegations that councillors have broken the code of conduct.