Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council Suffolk Local Code of Conduct for Members
In accordance with Section 26 to 37 of the Localism Act 2011 on 3rd July 2012 Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council (the Council) resolved to adopt the Suffolk Local Code of Conduct for the purposes of discharging its duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct within its area.
Until otherwise amended or replaced by a decision of the Council, the Suffolk Local Code of Conduct set out below shall hereafter apply to all elected members and any co-opted members entitled to vote on any decisions of the council or its committees, sub committees or joint committees when acting in their capacity as a member of the Council.
The Suffolk Local Code of Conduct shall be interpreted in accordance with the following 7 principles of public life identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life chaired by Lord Nolan:
Selflessness – Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Integrity – Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
Objectivity – In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Accountability – Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Openness – Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Honesty – Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Leadership – Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
SUFFOLK LOCAL CODE OF CONDUCT APPLICABLE TO ELECTED MEMBERS AND CO-OPTEES APPOINTED TO THE COUNTY BOROUGH DISTRICT AND PARISH AND TOWN COUNCILS IN SUFFOLK
1. You must treat others with respect.
2. You must not:
(1) do anything which may cause your authority to breach any of the Council’s duties under the Equality Act 2010
(2) bully any person;
(3) intimidate or attempt to intimidate any person who is or is likely to be:
(a) a complainant,
(b) a witness, or
(c) involved in the administration of any investigation or proceedings, in relation to an allegation that a member (including yourself) has failed to comply with his or her authority’s code of conduct; or
(4) do anything which compromises or is likely to compromise the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, your authority.
3. You must not:
(1) disclose information given to you in confidence by anyone, or information acquired by you which you believe, or ought reasonably to be aware, is of a confidential nature, except where:
(a) you have the consent of a person authorised to give it;
(b) you are required by law to do so;
(c) the disclosure is made to a third party for the purpose of obtaining professional advice provided that the third party agrees not to disclose the information to any other person; or
(d) the disclosure is reasonable, in the public interest, made in good faith and in compliance with the reasonable requirements of the authority; or
(2) prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law.
4. You must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute.
(1) must not use or attempt to use your position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for yourself or any other person, an advantage or disadvantage; and
(2) must, when using or authorising the use by others of the resources of your authority:
(a) act in accordance with your authority’s reasonable requirements;
(b) ensure that such resources are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes); and
(3) must have regard to any applicable Local Authority Code of Publicity made under the Local Government Act 1986.
6. (1) When reaching decisions on any matter you must have regard to any relevant advice provided to you by:
(a) your authority’s chief finance officer; or
(b) your authority’s monitoring officer,
where that officer is acting pursuant to his or her statutory duties.
6. (2) You must give reasons for all decisions in accordance with any statutory requirements and any reasonable additional requirements imposed by your authority.
7. Registration of Interests.
(1) You must register within 28 days of becoming a member of the Council (and to notify the relevant Monitoring Officer of any changes within 28 days) any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPIs) you may have for publication in the Register of Members’ Interests . (See Appendix A to this Code.)
(2) You may not at any time discharge any function or participate in any Council business or discussions, or vote on any issues that relate to or concern any of your DPIs where you are aware that you have a relevant DPI. You may not remain in the chamber or meeting room or in the public gallery when any matter that relates to any of your DPI is under discussion or debate unless you have requested a dispensation from the Proper Officer (Clerk) and the Council or relevant Committee has agreed and minuted it in advance of the relevant meeting.
(3) You must register within 28 days of becoming a member of the Council (and to notify the relevant Monitoring Officer of any changes within 28 days) any non statutory Local Non Pecuniary Interests (LNPIs) set out in Appendix A to this code but you may participate in any discussions or debates relating to or concerning any of your LNPIs after the date of registration.
(4) You must declare any DPIs or LNPIs to a meeting where business is relevant to those interests, including those interests that are already registered with the relevant Monitoring Officer or where registration is pending.
(5) You must register, within 28 days, any gifts and hospitality of £25 or more received by you in accordance with the instructions issued within your Council by the relevant Monitoring Officer.
(6) The Council’s Register of Interests will be available for inspection at the Council offices by prior arrangement during normal office hours, and will be published on the Council’s website.
8. Sensitive Interests
You may also apply to the relevant Monitoring officer for non publication of the full details of any of your DPIs or LNPIs where you reasonably believe that publication of the details of a particular DPI or LNPI could result in your being subjected to violence or intimidation. In considering such applications the relevant Monitoring Officer shall have regard to any representations made by you in determining whether he or she considers the relevant DPI or LNPI should be treated as a Sensitive Interest and excluded from the published version of the Register of Members’ Interests.
DPI = Disclosable Pecuniary Interest
LNPI = Local Non Pecuniary Interest
Description of categories of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
1. Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.
2. Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the Council) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred in carrying out your duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 other than from a registered political party.
3. Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where –
(1) that body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the Council
(a) the total nominal value of the securities exceeds -25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body;
(b) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant persons has beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.
4. Any contract which is made between the relevant person, or a body in which they have a beneficial interest, and the Council-
(1) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and
(2) which has not been fully discharged.
5. Any beneficial interest in any land in the Council’s area.
6. Any tenancy where to your knowledge (a) the landlord is the Council and (b) the tenant is a body in which a relevant person has a beneficial interest.
7. Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the Council’s area for a month or longer.
Description of categories of Local Non Pecuniary Interests
1. Any body of which you are a member or in a position of general control or management and to which you are appointed or nominated by the Council;
2. Any body-
(a) exercising functions of a public nature;
(b) directed to charitable purposes; or
(c) one of whose principal purposes includes the influence of public opinion or policy (including any political party or trade union); of which you are a member or in a position of general control or management;
3. Any person from whom you have received a gift or hospitality with an estimated value of at least £25.
Adoption of the Model Publication Scheme
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council has adopted the Model Publication Scheme produced in accordance with section 20 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will publish information in accordance with that scheme.
Who are we and what do we do…
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council serves a population of approximately 6,000 people, is made up of 15 elected members and employs 3 office staff and 15 cinema staff. The Council owns, operates and administers Victory Road Recreation Ground, King Georges Recreation Ground, Haylings Pond, Leiston Film Theatre, Leiston Community Centre. It also administers the Waterloo Centre and allotments in Valley Road and Haylings Road. The Council operates from an office in the Council Chambers in Main Street, Leiston and meets monthly on the first Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm in the Community Centre, King Georges Avenue. At each meeting there is always a public session where residents can ask questions of their Town Councillors. The County Councillor and District Councillors are also generally in attendance at these sessions to answer residents’ questions or to hear their concerns.
Our contact details are as follows:
Telephone: 01728 830388
Councillors: Contact details are on the website, in the quarterly newsletter or available through the Clerk.
Town Clerk: Mr John Rayner.
Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs Caroline Rinder.
Office Opening Hours:
Monday: 0900-1230 1400-1645
Tuesday: 0900-1230 1400-1645
Wednesday: Closed all day
Leiston Film Theatre Manager: Mr Wayne Burns
Telephone: 01728 830549
How can information be obtained
Information covered by the Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council Publication Scheme is available in a number of ways. We endeavour to make the majority of information available via our website, however, some information is not available in all formats.
We will dispatch information requested within 20 working days from receipt of request and fee if applicable.
Mr John Rayner – Town Clerk
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council
E-mail requests: firstname.lastname@example.org
The best way to obtain any information however is to call into the Town Council Offices at the above times and discuss your request with the Clerk who will endeavour to give you as much information as is available, wanted or allowed. There is virtually no business done by our Council that is not completely transparent and open to public scrutiny.
Will a charge be made?
Information on the website is free of charge of course but, for other information, a charge may be levied to cover staff time and photocopying costs – if the request is easily satisfied there should be no charge but for more detailed responses and larger quantities of photocopying then photocopying will be done at cost (10p per A4 sheet) and confirmation that a fee will be charged will be given prior to the information being provided if it is not immediately available.
If you are unhappy with the reply you receive from us when seeking information you have the right to ask for an internal review which will be undertaken by The Chairman of the Council and the Personnel Committee. Please contact the Town Clerk in the first instance.
Who is responsible for the Publication Scheme?
The Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council Publication Scheme is maintained by the Town Clerk. Any enquiries about the Publication Scheme and requests for information should be addressed to him. General information regarding the Publication Scheme, (which complies with the model provided by the Information Commissioners Office), or the Freedom of Information Act 2000, under which the scheme is regulated, can be obtained from:
Information Commissioners Office
Telephone: 0845 6306060
The Publication Scheme will be reviewed annually.
The Information Commissioner has deemed we lay out the Publication Scheme under the following headings.
What we spend your money on and how we spend it.
The following items are all available as hard copies from the Town Clerk:
- The Annual Return given to our external auditors
- The Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet
- Financial Regulations
- Grants given and received
- Members allowances and expenses
- Finalised budget
What our priorities are and how we are doing.
The following items are available as hard copies from the Clerk:
- Report to Annual Town Meeting
- Consultation responses to Sizewell C
How we make decisions.
The following are available as hard copies from the Clerk:
- Agendas for all meetings
- Minutes from all meetings
- Reports to Council
- Standing Orders
- Code of Conduct
- Responses to planning applications
- Responses to consultations
Our Policies and Procedures.
The following are available as hard copies from the Clerk:
- Standing Orders
- Financial Regulations
- Code of Conduct
- Health and Safety Policy
- Equal Opportunities Policy
- Complaints Procedure
- Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
Lists and Registers.
The following are available as hard copies from the Clerk:
- Members Declaration of Acceptance of Office
- Register of members Interests
- Asset Register
The services we offer.
The following services are provided – see Clerk for hire charges and further details:
- Hire of Community Centre
- Hire of the Waterloo Centre
- Victory Road Recreation Ground
- King Georges Recreation Ground
- Haylings Pond
- Leiston Film Theatre
- Dinsdale Road Public Conveniences
- Grants scheme
When You Contact Us
The information you provide (personal information such as name, address, email address, phone number, organisation) will be processed and stored so that it is possible to contact you and respond to your correspondence, provide information and/or access our facilities and services. Your personal information will not be shared or provided to any third party.
The Councils Right to Process Information
GDPR (Data Protection Regulations) Article 6 (1) (a) (b) and (e)
Processing is with consent of the data subject;
Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation;
Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council cares to ensure the security of personal data. We make sure that your information is protected from unauthorised access, loss, manipulation, falsification, destruction or unauthorised disclosure. This is done through appropriate technical measures and appropriate policies.
We will only keep your data for the purpose it was collected for and only for as long as is necessary. After which it will be deleted.
We will not process any data relating to a child (under 13) without the express parental/ guardian consent of the child concerned.
Access to Information
You have the right to request access to the information we hold on you. You can do this by contacting the Town Clerk via email: email@example.com or telephone: (01728) 830388.
If you believe that the information we hold about you is incorrect, you may contact us so that we can update it and keep your data accurate. Please contact the Town Clerk via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: (01728) 830388.
If you wish Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council to delete the information about you please contact the Town Clerk via email: email@example.com or telephone: (01728) 830388.
Right to Object
If you believe that your data is not being processed for the purpose it has been collected for, you may object. Please contact the Town Clerk, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: (01728) 830388.
Rights Related to Automated Decision Making and Profiling
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council does not use automated decision making or profiling of individual personal data.
To Sum Up
In accordance with the law, we only collect a limited amount of information about you that is necessary for correspondence, information and service provision. We do not use profiling, we do not sell or pass your data to third parties. We do not use your data for purposes other than those specified. We make sure your data is stored securely. We delete all information deemed to be no longer necessary. We constantly review our Privacy Policies to keep it up to date in protecting your data.
If you have a complaint regarding the way your personal data has been processed you may make a complaint to the Town Clerk at Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council, via email: email@example.com or telephone: (01728) 830388. You can also contact the Information Commissioners Office firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 0303 123 1113
Members of Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council are obliged to register any pecuniary or non pecuniary interest they may have in the town and its business and to declare those interests when appropriate at Council meetings (i.e. when it could be deemed inappropriate for a Councillor to comment on a subject by virtue of his own personal interest in it).
These interests are open for inspection on the District Councils website but a link is included here for convenience.
Register of Interests. To access the Register of Interests. Select Leiston in the drop down menu for Parishes and then select the name of the Councillor you wish to view. For District Councillors, select East Suffolk Council in the drop down list.
This website is run by Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council, we want as many people as possible to use this website. In order for this to happen we have put into place some key features, listed below:
- We have added a fully accessible web page with all the content of this website in text form.
- A screen reader should be able to access all the information easily for text navigation bookmarks available at the top of the page.
- This website allows for zoom of up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen.
- The ability to navigate all of the accessible content using just a keyboard.
How accessible this website is.
We know some parts of this website are not full accessible and as such we have made all content available on the Website Accessibility Page.
What to do if you cannot access parts of this website.
If you need any information on this website in a different format, like accessible PDF, Large Print, Easy Read, Audio Recording or Braille, then please contact the Town Clerk:
- Email: email@example.com.
- Call on 01728 830388
We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 10 working days.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website.
We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website, if you find any problems or think we are not meeting the accessibility requirements please contact the Town Clerk on (01728 830388) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, Contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Contacting us by phone or visiting in person.
Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.
Find out how to contact us – https://www.leistontowncouncil.gov.uk/contact-us/
Technical Information about this website’s accessibility.
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliance listed below.
Non accessible content.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons:
- Navigation and accessing information.
- interactive tools and transactions.
No compliance with the accessibility regulations.
Some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).
We plan to add text alternatives for all images by September 2021. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
Navigation and accessing information.
There’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option). this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks).
It’s not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it difficult to view the content. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.4 (orientation).
It’s not always possible for users to change text size without some of the content overlapping. this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 (resize text).
Interactive tools and transactions
Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.
Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships).
We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment when the supplier contract is up for renewal.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations.
PDF’s and other documents.
Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standard – for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name,role value).
Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have some PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2021, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.
The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.
Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.
There is currently no live video on this website.
How we tested this website:
The website was lasted tested on 4th September 2020. The test was carried out by ourselves.
We used this approach to decide on a sample of pages to test with static content, links and pictures.
- Our main website plate form, available at http://www.leistontowncouncil.gov.uk
What we’re doing to improve accessibility.
This statement was prepared on 4th September 2020.