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Agenda item

New Council Values & Behaviours

Minutes:

The Committee considered the new Council vales and behaviours and reviewed the Protocol on Members and Officer Relations.

 

The Protocol on Member/Officer Relations (“the Protocol”) is contained in Part 5, Section 3 of the Constitution. Its purpose is stated in paragraph 1.2 as: “…to guide Members and Officers of the Council in their relations with one another”.

 

The Protocol covers the respective roles and responsibilities of Elected Members and Officers, the legitimate expectations of each other, and specific guidance on a number of issues that commonly arise, including an ‘Advice Note for Elected Members/Officers involvement in respect of family members and social care matters.’ Some of these expectations reflect the principles underlying the Code of Conduct for Members (“the Members’ Code”) and the Officer Code of Conduct (“the Officer Code”). The shared object of these codes is to enhance and maintain the integrity of local government and the Codes, therefore, demand very high standards of personal conduct. Although the Members Code has been subject to some amendments since its formal adoption in 2012 following recommendations by the Committee, the Protocol has not been reviewed for some time.

 

At its meeting on 28th September 2022, the Committee considered a review of the Member’s Code and were presented with the work undertaken in relation to the Council’s organisational values: Trust, Respect, Ambition, Collaboration, Kindness (TRACK). A special Member Training session was arranged to be held on 12 October 2022 to present that Council’s organisational values and behaviours, and it was resolved by the Committee to consider the review of the Code in conjunction with these Council’s values and behaviours after the training session.

 

At the training session is was stated that these values and behaviours had been cascaded to all staff who are committed to them in all aspects of their work, and in particular when engaging with customers, other officers, Elected Members, and external and partner organisations.

 

It is also noted that the principle, “Respect for Others” has been incorporated into the Members Code with an explanation: “Members should promote equality by not discriminating unlawfully against any person, and by treating people with respect, regardless of their race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. They should respect the impartiality and integrity of the authority’s statutory officers, and its other employees.”

 

As well as reviewing the Members Code, the Committee could also consider the adoption of Council’s Values and Behaviours as a reciprocal understanding in their engagement with officers. In doing so, the Committee could suggest recommendations to the Protocol.

 

Such recommendations could include incorporation of the ‘TRACK’ values and behaviours in the Protocol. The Standard’s Committee’s role and function as delegated by the Council is contained in the constitution. It includes assisting councillors and co-opted members to observe the Code of Conduct. The Committee also has a function to monitor the operation of the Council’s standards arrangements and make appropriate recommendations to the Council as it considers appropriate with respect to the maintenance and review of the Code, together with such other codes, procedure, protocol or guidance as the committee considers appropriate.

 

The Members of the committee discussed the new Council values and behaviours and raised how it would be implemented as well as monitored. It was noted that Officers would work closely with Members from all parties for their views and feedback.

 

RESOLVED – That the Protocol on Member/Officer Relations to be reviewed and considered at the next committee meeting on 29th March 2023 and recommend any amendments to full Council for approval.

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