Welcome to the Standards and Ethics pages.
Code of Conduct
The Forest of Dean District Council has a statutory duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by members and co-opted members of the authority.
In discharging this duty the Council has adopted a new Code of Conduct detailing the conduct which is expected of members and co-opted members of the authority when they are acting in that capacity.
The Code of Conduct for Members of Forest of Dean District Council can be found at FODDC Code of Conduct 2012
The Code of Conduct adopted by Town and Parish Councils within the Forest of Dean District can be found at Town and Parish Council Code 2012
The role of the Monitoring Officer
The Monitoring Officer for Forest of Dean District Council is Marie Rosenthal. The provisions of the Localism Act 2011 impose a number of statutory duties on the Monitoring Officer in terms of maintaining standards in the authority. These duties can be summarised as follows:
- To establish and maintain a register of interests of the members and co-opted members of the authority;
- To establish and maintain a register of interests of the members and co-opted members of town and parish councils within the district;
- To secure that a copy of the Council’s register is available for inspection at a place in the district at all reasonable hours;
- To secure that a copy of the registers of the town and parish councils in the district are available for inspection at a place in the district at all reasonable hours;
- To publish the registers on the Council’s website (please see links above);
- Duties of the Council in respect of Standards
The Council is required to adopt a Code of Conduct which is consistent with the following principles:
The Code of Conduct adopted by the Council must also include provisions relating to the registration of interests and the disclosure of pecuniary interests and other interests. Please see the link above to the Forest of Dean District Council code of conduct.
Other duties of the Council can be summarised as follows:
- To put in place arrangements under which written allegations that a member or co-opted member of the Forest of Dean District Council or one of its town and parish councils has failed to comply with its Code of Conduct can be investigated;
- To put in place arrangements under which decisions on allegations can be made;
- To appoint an Independent Person;
- To publicise its adoption of a code of conduct. Please click here to view the relevant press release;
- To appoint a proper officer who may grant a dispensation on receipt of a written request from a member or co-opted member of the Forest of Dean District Council.
The Independent Person
On 12 July 2012 Richard Cockroft, Alan Robertson and Tony Elkington were appointed by the Forest of Dean District Council to act as Independent Persons in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011.
The role of the Independent Person is:
- To assist the Council in promoting high standards of conduct by elected and co-opted members of the Forest of Dean District Council and town and parish councillors and in particular to uphold the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council and the seven principles of public officer, namely selflessness, honesty, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness and leadership;
- To be consulted by the Council through the Monitoring Officer and/or the Standards Panel before it makes a decision on an investigated allegation and to be available to attend meetings of the Standards Panel for this purpose;
- To be available for consultation by the Monitoring Officer and/or the Standards Panel before a decision is taken as to whether to investigate a complaint or to seek local resolution of the same;
- To be available for consultation by any elected member, including town and parish councillors, who is the subject of a standards complaint;
- To develop a sound understanding of the ethical framework as it operates within the Forest of Dean District Council and its town and parish councils;
- To participate in training events to develop skills, knowledge and experience and in networks developed for Independent Persons operating outside the District Council’s area;
- To attend standards/Code of Conduct training events organised and promoted by the Council’s Monitoring Officer;
- To act as advocate and ambassador for the Council in promoting ethical behaviour.
The Standards Panel
When a complaint has been referred for investigation, the investigator will be required to present their final report to the Standards Panel for consideration.
The Standards Panel is a panel of three District Council members and is politically balanced. The members to be appointed to the Standards Panel will be decided shortly and full details will be published on these pages as soon as possible.
The terms of reference setting out the remit of the Standards Panel can be found in the Constitution of the Forest of Dean District Council on the main Council and Democracy page of this website.
The Standards Panel is required to arbitrate on the facts presented to them by the investigator, the complainant and the subject member and to conclude whether, on the balance of probabilities, a breach of the Code of Conduct has occurred.
The decision of the Standards Panel is reached in consultation with the Independent Person.
The Forest of Dean District Council is working on a procedure for dealing with Code of Conduct complaints. The proposed procedures will be reviewed by the Constitution Working Group at a meeting in September 2012 and will then be finalised at a meeting of Full Council on 11 October 2012.
Should anyone have any concerns about a member’s conduct in the interim please contact either the Monitoring Officer or the Deputy Monitoring Officer for advice in the first instance:
Monitoring Officer – Marie Rosenthal 01594 812510 firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Monitoring Officer – Lisa Weaver 01594 812516 email@example.com
Documents and Forms
Register of Interests form - District Council