Ribble Valley council adopts new code to promote high standards

Ribble Valley Borough Council has adopted a new code of conduct to promote and maintain high standards among its politicians.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 12:30 pm
Coun. David Berryman recommended the code to full council. Picture: RVBC
Coun. David Berryman recommended the code to full council. Picture: RVBC

The code, which was given the green light by a full council meeting, is based on seven core principles of public life set out in law.

They are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

Councils across the UK have a duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct among their members.

Furthermore, the Localism Act 2011 requires them to produce a code of conduct.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s new code is based on one drawn up by the Local Government Association that aims to achieve a national set of standards in response to the Local Government Ethical Standards report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

The code sets out the standards of conduct expected of Ribble Valley councillors, including why and how to register and declare financial and other interests, including gifts and hospitality.

David Berryman, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s accounts and audit committee, which recommended the new code to full council and has oversight of it, said: “Councillors are a vital part of our democracy and it is important that they adopt high standards of behaviour.

“As councillors, we represent local residents, work to develop better services and deliver local change. The public therefore trust us to take decisions fairly, openly and transparently.

“We have an individual and collective responsibility to meet these expectations by maintaining high standards and demonstrating good conduct, and challenging behaviour that falls below those expectations.

“This code has been designed to protect our democratic role, encourage good conduct and safeguard the trust of Ribble Valley residents in local government.”

A full council meeting agreed to adopt the new code and councillors are to receive training in it shortly.

Further details about the new code and how to report possible breaches of it are available at ribblevalley.gov.uk.