As experienced and trusted advisers to many local authorities, we understand the importance to local authorities of monitoring the conduct of their members. We understand the duty of local authorities in England under section 27 of the Localism Act 2011 to maintain high standards of conduct by members and co-opted members, including adopting a code of conduct, making arrangements for the investigation of allegations of breaches of those codes and appointing independent persons from whom to seek views on allegations.
We are also familiar with the duty of local authorities in Wales under the Local Government Act 2000 to adopt a code of conduct, the functions of monitoring officers and standards committees in promoting and monitoring compliance with codes of conduct and the process for investigation by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales of allegations of breaches of codes of conduct.
Our lawyers understand the need for local authorities to ensure their members understand their responsibilities and to have robust arrangements for addressing any allegations of breach. We recognise that local authority officers may need external assistance as an external resource or because of the risk of a conflict of interest.
We are experienced in advising on all aspects of standards of conduct. We can assist local authorities with:
- Investigation of allegations of breach of codes of conduct
- Review and revision of codes of conduct
- Advice on standards issues
- Training for officers and members
- Assistance for members who are the subject of allegations