Calls for the government to legislate standards report recommendations
Mark Garnier MP asked Kemi Badenoch MP, Minister for Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government, to “confirm if and when the government will legislate to implement the recommendations”. Made in the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s Local government ethical standards report, published three years ago.
On 24 January 2022, Mr Garnier also asked whether “any legislation will equip councils with more robust sanctions for serious or repeated breaches of the code of conduct”. Mr Garnier’s question followed Cllr Christopher Wayman, executive officer of Worcestershire County Association of Local Councils, asking the MP to advocate for action from the government on behalf of the sector.
Ms Badenoch said she is “actively considering the recommendations… and will respond shortly”. She reiterated the importance of local authorities having the “right tools to make the system work”.
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) advocates for strong action in this area, working on the Civility and Respect Project alongside county associations, One Voice Wales and the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC).
In his New Year open letter, NALC chair, Cllr Keith Stevens, highlighted the “growing concerns about the impact bullying, harassment, and intimidation have on our councils, councillors, clerks and council staff, and the resulting effectiveness of local councils”. He reiterated the importance of placing civility and respect at the top of the agenda.