The Parish councils (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2001 provides the mandatory basis for local codes of conduct.
Upon election Councillors must sign the declaration of acceptance and a commitment to abide by the Code. If they do not comply they cannot take up office and a vacancy must be declared. Having agreed to bide by the Code, Councillors must at all times (not only when acting as Councillors) avoid bringing the Council or their office into disrepute, nor do they use the position as Councillor to secure advantage or disadvantage.
Councillors are responsible for disclosing an interest in any item discussed at any meeting of the Council. Interests are personal or prejudicial.
- a Councillor has a personal interest in a matter affecting the well being, financial or otherwise of, (more than others in the parish) self, family, friends, employment or business interests (including shareholdings over £5,000)
- a personal interest becomes a prejudicial interest if a member of the public (with knowledge of the relevant facts) might think that the Councillor's judgement of the public interest could be prejudiced. (this does not relate to another authority where the Councillor is a member or when the Councillor represents the council on another body)
If members have a personal interest, they may stay in the room and vote after declaring an interest. It is only when they have a prejudicial interest that they must withdraw from the meeting and avoid influencing a decision on the matter.
If a Councillor is aware that another Councillor has breached the Code of Conduct, for example, by failing to disclose an interest, they have a duty to make a written allegation of the breach to the Standards Board for England.
The Standards Board for England normally asks an Ethical Standards officer whether there is a case to answer. The ESO can conclude that:
- There is no evidence of a breach of the Code
- There is evidence of a breach but it is minor or technical
- They can decide to send it back to the local Standards Committee for adjudication
- They can send it to the adjudication panel for England
The way you express yourselves in public reflect on the Council. Whatever your role, always be professional when dealing with the public and partner organisations. Normally the Chairman or the Clerk speaks for the Council.
Active Councillors will make sure that their electors know who they are and how they can be contacted. Members can become known by attendance at meetings.
If members of the public make mistakes about the role of the Council, it is good practice, good manners and good public relations to help them by pointing them in the right direction.
The Council will establish procedures by which service users and the public can register complaints. The complaint must be dealt with quickly and positively, but is always considered appropriate to get the circumstances of the complaint in writing – directed to the Council via the Clerk.
The modern Council raises its profile by using information and communications technology. It considers a website to provide information about the Council ways of contacting the council and links to other organisations (a newsletter is published on a quarterly basis).
- The Council recognises and accepts that it is responsible for the health safety and welfare of its staff and other persons, including members of the general public who may visit its premises or be affected by its activities. The Council also recognises its duties to take all reasonable steps to promote and maintain safe and healthy working conditions and to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that its statutory obligations are met at all times.
- The Council recognises the fact that health and safety has positive benefits to the organisation and commitment to a higher level of safety making good business sense.
- The Council recognises that health and safety is the responsibility of everyone within the council and is not just a function of management. Employees will have specific responsibilities to take care of themselves and others who could be affected by their activities and to co-operate with management in achieving the required standards
- The Clerk to the Council has overall responsibility to ensure that health and safety is effectively planned, organised controlled, monitored and reviewed within the Council.
- The Council, through the Clerk, shall take all reasonable steps within its power to meet these responsibilities, paying particular attention to the provision and maintenance of:
- Arrangements for the effective planning, development and review of this policy statement.
- Appropriate systems for the effective communication of health and safety matters throughout the Council
- The necessary information instruction and training to employees and others to ensure their competence with respect to health and safety.
- Sufficient resources in the form of finance, equipment, and time to ensure health and safety. The assistance of expert help shall be sought where the necessary skills are not available within the Council
- Arrangements for liaising with and working with all necessary persons to ensure health and safety and will ensure that adequate arrangements are also in place for ensuring the health and safety of visitors.
- Arrangements for ensuring the safety and absence of risk to health in connection with the use, handling storage and transport of articles and substances.
- A system to ensure that accidents are fully investigated and appropriate action taken to reduce the likelihood of there reoccurrence
- Procedures to ensure, and provision of, safe equipment (including personal protective equipment) plant and systems of work
- Ensure that any operator of Parish Council properties and assets develops, maintains and implements a Health and Safety Policy which will be presented to the Parish Council for inspection.
- The Council will conduct all necessary Risks Assessments
Clanfield Parish Council is committed to ensuring that children and young people are protected and kept safe from harm, in accordance with Hampshire County Councils ‘Safe From Harm’ document, whilst they are engaged in any activity associated with the Council and to establishing the following principles:
- Anyone under the age of 18 years ( and up to 25 if the young person has been identified with special learning needs) is considered to be a child
- The welfare of the child is paramount;
- All children and young people without exception, have the right to protection from abuse and for their rights, feelings and views to be respected.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
In line with these principles the Parish Council will aim to:
- Create a healthy and safe environment for all activities, where children and young people feel safe and secure
- Promote the general welfare, health and full development of children and young people during activities
- Promote and implement appropriate procedures to safeguard the well-being of children and young people and protect them from abuse.
- Respect the rights, wishes and feelings of children and young people and ensure that they are listened to.
- Ensure that any allegations made by a child are not allowed to go unchallenged, and that any allegations and suspicions are investigated, recorded and acted upon promptly.
- Ensure that councillors, staff and volunteers are well informed, supported and enabled to provide the best possible practice
- Ensure that all new employees/volunteers who will work with, or come into contact with, children and young people in the course of their work activities will complete a disclosure form from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) to ensure that there are no irregularities in their background that may give cause for concern
- Ensure that all new employees/volunteers will be provided with the Child Protection Policy and asked to sign to confirm that they understand it and will abide by it.
- The Parish Council will appoint a Child Protection Officer who will ensure that procedures are put in place to enable the aims of the Parish Council to be met and to initiate appropriate action should any allegation of improper conduct be made.
The Council’s Child Protection Officer is The Clerk to the Council
When working with children you should:
- Always be publicly open. Avoid any situations where you and an individual child are completely unobserved.
When working with children you should never:
- Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games
- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate contact
- Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
- Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
- Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
- Do things of a personal nature that the child can do for itself
(based on Hampshire County Council Guidelines)
For activities where children are not accompanied by parents/carers minimum requirements are as follow:
- Under 5 - 1:6
- Under 8 - 1.8
- 8 to under 18 - 1 per activity/group (max 1:20)
A minimum of two leaders should be present
Should the risk assessment for the particular activity indicate a larger number of leaders/adults is required this will take precedence.
Clanfield Parish Council takes data protection very seriously and is committed to upholding the latest legislation relating to personal data. Our data protection policy covers what data we collect, how we use it and your rights.
You can download and read the full data protection policy here:
A Council can arrange for a committee or a sub committee to make decisions or spend money on its behalf except when setting the precept or agreeing to take out a loan. Alternatively the Council can retain the decision making role and committees or sub committees simply advise. Arrangements for standing (permanent) committees or sub committees have been set out in the standing orders.
The only committee that this Council have is the planning committee – this has a Chairman and an agenda and minutes are duly produced. The Chairman of the committee should be duly elected in May of each year. All others are working groups who meet to carry out the ground work for items and report back for full decisions to be made by the Council as a whole.
A Finance Working Group must consist wholly of Councillors. People who are not Councillors can be co-opted onto other committees / working groups in an advisory capacity but are not normally permitted to vote. There are exceptions and a Council can set up an advisory committee consisting of young people (often called a Youth Council).
The public must be given notice and have access to committee meetings in the same way as Council meetings. A reinterpretation of the law also suggests that the Council should also advertise sub committee meetings and make them open to members of the public. Councils frequently set up working parties/groups to investigate special topics. These are advisory groups only (i.e. Down Farm (Crimea) Barn).
The Working Group shall consist of the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) and up to six Parish Councillors as nominated each May by the full council. The group may invite someone other than a Parish Councillor to join meetings when specific expertise is required.
The Working Group shall meet no less than four times per year at a date not less than two clear weeks before a full council meeting. The Working Group will meet in November to work through and produce a draft precept to issue to members for a full decision at the following Council meeting.
Areas of interest of the Working Group shall include all Financial matters, including Audit and Governance; Risk Management; Policies and Documentation; GDPR; Legal Matters; Freedom of Information Requests; Complaints; Website; Interaction with other bodies; Training, EHDC Town and Parish Charter.
1. Clanfield Parish Council (CPC) aims to provide services at a satisfactory level for the benefit of the people who live or work in its area or are visitors to the locality. If you are dissatisfied with the standard of service you have received from this council, or are unhappy about an action or lack of action by this council, this Complaints Procedure sets out how you may complain to the council and how we shall try to resolve your complaint.
2. This Complaints Procedure applies to complaints about CPC’s administration and procedures and may include complaints about how CPC’s employees have dealt with your concerns.
3. This Complaints Procedure does not apply to:
3.1. complaints by one CPC employee against another CPC employee, or between a council employee and the council as employer. These matters are dealt with under the council’s disciplinary and grievance procedures.
3.2. complaints against Councillors. Complaints against Councillors are covered by the Code of Conduct for Members adopted by the Council at their meeting held on 17th July 2012 and, if a complaint against a Councillor is received by this council, it will be referred to the Monitoring Officer of East Hampshire District Council. Further information on the process of dealing with complaints against Councillors may be obtained from the Monitoring Officer of East Hampshire District Council.
4. The appropriate time for influencing CPC decision-making is by raising your concerns before the Council debates and votes on a matter. You may do this by writing to the Council in advance of the meeting at which the item is to be discussed. There may also be the opportunity to raise your concerns in the public participation section of Council meetings. If you are unhappy with a Council decision, you may raise your concerns with the Council, but Standing Orders prevent the Council from re-opening issues for six months from the date of the decision, unless there are exceptional grounds to consider this necessary and the special process set out in the Standing Orders is followed.
5. You may make your complaint about the Council’s procedures or administration to the Clerk. You must do this by writing to or emailing the Clerk with notification if your complaint is to be treated confidentially. The addresses are set out below.
6. Wherever possible, the Clerk will try to resolve your complaint immediately. If this is not possible, the Clerk will normally try to acknowledge your
complaint within five working days. If the Clerk is absent when a complaint is made, the complaint will be dealt with immediately upon the Clerk’s return from absence.
7. If you do not wish to report your complaint to the Clerk, you may make your complaint directly to the Chairman of the Council who will report your complaint to the Council. Complaints should be sent to Clanfield Parish Council, 139 North Lane, Clanfield, Waterlooville Hampshire, PO8 0RN marked for the attention of the Chairman of the Council and marked “Addressee Only”.
9. Wherever possible, the Chairman will try to resolve the complaint immediately. If this is not possible, the Chairman will normally try to acknowledge the complaint immediately. If the Chairman is absent when a complaint is made, the complaint will be dealt with immediately upon the Chairman’s return from absence
10. The Clerk or the Council, as appropriate, will investigate each complaint, obtaining further information as necessary from the complainant and /or from staff or members of the Council.
11. The Clerk or the Chairman will notify the complainant within 20 working
days of the outcome of the complaint and of what action, if any, this Council
proposes to take as a result of your complaint. (In exceptional cases the
twenty working days timescale may have to be extended. If it is, the
complainant will be kept informed.)
12. If you are dissatisfied with the response to your complaint, you may ask for your complaint to be referred to the full Council and usually within eight weeks you will be notified in writing of the outcome of the review of your original complaint.
13. In dealing with complaints CPC and its employees will comply with data protection
legislation and CPC’s policy thereon.
14. In dealing with complaints CPC and its employees will comply with CPC’s Equal
Clanfield Parish Council (“CPC”) is opposed to all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination whether it be direct or indirect discrimination or harassment.
This policy should be read in conjunction with CPC’s Dignity at Work, Bullying and Harassment Policy.
1. PURPOSE AND SCOPE
CPC believes that every employee is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all.
No form of intimidation, bullying, victimisation or harassment will be tolerated.
This policy is fully supported by all CPC Councillors.
CPC understands its obligations under the Equality Act 2010, which legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society, and is fully committed to its duty imposed by Section 149 of that Act*.
CPC is an Equal Opportunities employer, contractor and provider of services. It is committed to the promotion, maintenance and protection of the rights of individuals.
2. KEY PRINCIPLES
CPC will provide equal opportunities to all its employees (unless there are genuine occupational, qualification or objectively justified reasons for a different approach to be taken).
CPC will treat all employees fairly and equally whether full-time, part-time, fixed term contract, agency workers or temporary staff. Selection for employment, promotion, training, remuneration or any other benefit will be based on aptitude and ability.
All employees will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of CPC.
CPC will oppose all unjustified discrimination proscribed by law on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
CPC will ensure that all recipients of the services delivered directly by CPC are guaranteed the same opportunity and is committed to ensuring that services are relevant and responsive to the needs of all communities and recognises that all members of the community have specific needs and will strive to meet those needs.
CPC values all members of the community and will treat people with dignity and respect and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or victimisation of its service users or communities. CPC will encourage and develop all employees to support and carry out the requirements of the Equal Opportunities Policy.
Any employee suffering discrimination or harassment in their employment is encouraged, in the first instance, to make an informal complaint to the Chairman .
Employees are encouraged to raise any incidents of discrimination or harassment by members of the public with the Chairman.
CPC will take all practicable steps to protect its employees from discrimination or harassment by the public.
4. DISCIPLINARY MATTERS
Any employee breaching CPC’s equal opportunities policy will be regarded as committing serious misconduct and will be subject to disciplinary proceedings.
Allegations of discrimination by CPC Councillors may result in referral to the Standards Process as a contravention of the Members Code of Conduct.
This policy will be monitored and subject to regular review.
6. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
If you have any queries please contact the Clerk or the Chair of CPC.
Adopted by Clanfield Parish Council on 12th January 2021
POLICY REVIEW: 2024
* Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 imposes a duty on Parish Councils to take into account:-
• the need to eliminate discrimination and harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act
• to advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
• to foster good relations between those who share protected characteristics and those who do not
“Protected Characteristics” are defined in section 4 of the Equality Act 2010 and are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
This policy reflects the spirit in which Clanfield Parish Council (“CPC”) intends to undertake all of its business.
CPC recognises its legal duties to protect its employees and Councillors from bullying and harassment and to ensure that its employees do not bully or harass others.
This policy covers, but is not limited to, harassment on the grounds of sex, marital status, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, belief, disability or age.
This policy covers, but is not limited to, physical and verbal bullying and cyberbullying (referred to together in this policy as “bullying”).
This policy outlines the expected behaviour of all employees and Councillors and CPC’s approach to the management of concerns raised under this policy.
2. KEY PRINCIPLES
CPC will not tolerate bullying or harassment of its employees or its Councillors.
CPC will not tolerate bullying or harassment of its employees or Councillors by other employees or Councillors.
CPC will not tolerate bullying or harassment of its employees or Councillors by visitors to CPC or members of the public.
CPC will follow the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) guidance on the definition of bullying and harassment which are behaviours unwanted by the recipient.
3. BULLYING AND HARASSMENT
Bullying is characterised as a pattern of offensive, intimidating, malicious, insulting or humiliating behaviour.
It is an abuse of use of power or authority which tends to undermine an individual or group of individuals, gradually eroding their confidence and capability, which may cause them to suffer stress.
Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Cyberbullying is the use of information and communication technologies, particularly mobile phones and the internet, to deliberately or repeatedly threaten, harass, humiliate, defame or impersonate (to assume the character or appearance of another person fraudulently).
Any employee experiencing bullying or harassment should report this to the Chairman
The complaint will be investigated either formally or informally and the complainant will be notified of the result of the investigation in writing.
5. DISCIPLINARY MATTERS
CPC considers bullying and harassment to be examples of serious misconduct.
Any allegation which, following investigation, is upheld, will result in disciplinary procedures for employees and may result in charges of gross misconduct and summary dismissal.
Allegations of bullying and harassment of employees or the public by Councillors may result in referrals to the Standards Process as a contravention of the Members Code of Conduct.
6. LEGAL ACTION
Employees and Councillors may be the subject of legal action by a recipient of bullying or harassment as a result of such bullying or harassment.
7. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
If you have any queries please contact the Clerk or the Chair of CPC.
Adopted by Clanfield Parish Council on 12TH January 2021
POLICY REVIEW: 2024