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Officer Member Protocol

A CALC Model Document - whilst this Protocol cannot be prescriptive or cover all eventualities, it does aim to offer guidance on some common issues and provide points of principle that can be applied to other issues that might arise.

Mon, 18 Sep 2017

Open and Accountable: A Guide

Government is currently implementing increasing transparency and scrutiny requirements. The most high profile change is the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 which came into effect in August 2014 and brought in the public right to report from local council (and principal local authority) meetings.

The law gives the public and press the right to report, which includes filming, blogging, photographing and use of social media at council meetings (including committees), in most circumstances, although not for legitimately confidential items. Councillors can also report from the meetings but must take care not to disrupt the meeting and in the interests of natural justice, should still be listening to and participating in the debate so that they can make informed decisions.

Whatever form of reporting is used, editing and re-use (retweeting, republication etc) of the result is readily possible. However, councils will be aware that reports from meetings in written form including tweeting and blogging have been fairly commonplace for some time. Covert filming and audio recording have not been unknown either. Now, the difference is that such reporting activities will usually be conducted overtly and councils will be preparing themselves properly for facilitating and managing this reporting, in anticipation that the likelihood of reporting has risen.

Mon, 01 Dec 2014

Openness and transparency on personal interests

This guide on personal interests gives basic practical information about how to be open and transparent about your personal interests. It is designed to help councillors, including parish councillors, now that new standards arrangements have been introduced by the Localism Act 2011

The national rules require your council's code of conduct to comply with the Seven Principles of Public Life, and to set out how, in conformity with the rules, you will have to disclose and register your pecuniary and your other interests. Within these rules it is for your council to decide what its code of conduct says.

Mon, 01 Oct 2012