Model Code of Conduct

Transport, Local Government and the Regions written question – answered on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of Phyllis Starkey Phyllis Starkey Labour, Milton Keynes South West

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he will lay before Parliament the model code of conduct for members of relevant authorities under the Local Government Act 2000; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford Minister of State (Department of Transport, Local Government and Regions) (Local Government)

I have today laid before the House four model codes of conduct for members of relevant authorities. The four are:

The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2000—which covers principal local authorities, the Greater London Authority, the City of London, the Scilly Isles Council, Fire and joint authorities;

The Parish Councils (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2000;

The National Parks and the Broads Authority (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2000; and

The Police Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England and Wales) Order 2000.

The Government have embarked on a radical programme to modernise local government and deliver better services. Strong and effective community leadership is at the heart of this vision. It is essential that communities trust those in local government and, equally, that members have clear guidelines under which they must operate.

The code, published today, meets those two objectives. It will help safeguard and raise standards of conduct in local government—ensuring that the highest professional standards are met by those who run our councils and represent our communities.

Authorities now have six months in which to adopt their own codes of conduct, which must contain the mandatory provisions set out in the relevant model codes.

I believe the code is a considerable improvement on its predecessor. It is easier to understand, and easier for members to apply to their day to day duties. We need to keep the provisions under review, to ensure their workability and also to make sure that the public has the reassurance it needs that those they elect really are serving only the public interest. I shall from time to time ask the Standards Board for England to review the efficacy of the code, or specific provisions within it, and provide advice to Ministers on whether it can be improved.

I will ensure that copies of all four codes are placed in the House Libraries.

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