Councillors' code of conduct 2021

Amended code of conduct for Councillors setting out standards of behaviour to be followed by elected members of local authorities, issued by Ministers under the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000. Subject to parliamentary approval.

Section 5: Declaration of Interests

Stage 1: Connection

5.1 For each particular matter I am involved in as a councillor, I will first consider whether I have a connection to that matter.

5.2 I understand that a connection is any link between the matter being considered and me, or a person or body I am associated with. This could be a family relationship or a social or professional contact.

5.3 A connection includes anything that I have registered as an interest.

5.4 A connection does not include:

a) being a Council Tax or rate payer or a council house tenant or in general when services delivered to members of the public are being considered, including the setting of budgets, taxes and rates and fixing of council house rents;

b) being a councillor when councillors’ remuneration, allowances, expenses, support services or pensions are being considered; or

c) being a member of an outside body to which I have been appointed or nominated by my council as a councillor representative unless:

(1) the matter being considered by my council is quasi-judicial or regulatory; or

(2) I have a personal conflict by reason of my actions, my connections or my legal obligations.

Stage 2: Interest

5.5 I understand my connection is an interest that requires to be declared where the objective test is met – that is where a member of the public with knowledge of the relevant facts would reasonably regard my connection to a particular matter as being so significant that it would be considered as being likely to influence the discussion or decision-making.

Stage 3: Participation

5.6 I will declare my interest as early as possible in meetings. I will not remain in the meeting nor participate in any way in those parts of meetings where I have declared an interest.

5.7 I will consider whether it is appropriate for transparency reasons to state publicly where I have a connection, which I do not consider amounts to an interest.

5.8 I note that I can apply to the Standards Commission and ask it to grant a dispensation to allow me to take part in the discussion and decision-making on a matter where I would otherwise have to declare an interest and withdraw (as a result of having a connection to the matter that would fall within the objective test). I note that such an application must be made in advance of any meetings where the dispensation is sought and that I cannot take part in any discussion or decision-making on the matter in question unless, and until, the application is granted.



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