NALC urges the government to strengthen the standards regime
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has urged the government as a matter of urgency to bring forward changes to the current standards regime governing conduct in local government.
In 2019 the Committee on Standards in Public Life (COSIPL) published its review of local government ethical standards, recommending the introduction of a range of sanctions such as suspension or disqualification of councillors for serious and repeated misconduct.
NALC has repeatedly called on the government to respond to the review and bring forward changes to the system and has now written to Robert Jenrick MP, secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government, urging him to take action.
Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “In my recent open letter, I restated our firm commitment to promoting and supporting good governance and the highest standards of conduct and behaviour in local (parish and town) councils. Most local councils are well run, with clerks and council staff working as a team with councillors to deliver their ambitions for the community.
“But all too often we hear about the negative impact poor and disruptive behaviour can have; by councillors, clerks and residents. Simply put, we must tackle this issue and put a stop to the actions of the few overshadowing the many whose tireless efforts play such a vital role in our civic life and local communities.
“Only by taking forward the review’s recommendations as a package, rather than piecemeal, with local government working closely with national government and through the provision of support and targeted investment, will we be able to continue to uphold the high standards of conduct we all expect and tackle poor behaviour where it exists.”