The Council's Ethical Framework is the set of rules and procedures which set out the standards of behaviour that the Council expects of its Councillors and staff. It also deals with the way in which Councillors and officers should relate to one another.
The present arrangements are derived from the Localism Act 2011 and are overseen by the Council's Standards Committee.
The Interim Director for People & Governance is Rochford District Council's Monitoring Officer and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the standards arrangements.
The following outlines various aspects of the ethical framework that governs standards at Rochford.
The Constitution, which comprises 7 Parts, includes 16 Articles that set out the basic rules governing the Council’s business. Detailed responsibilities, procedures and codes of practice appear later in the document.
The Constitution can be downloaded from the Related Content section.
The Code of Conduct for Members
Every Council is required to adopt a Code of Conduct that sets out the rules governing the behaviour of its Members. All elected and co-opted Members of the Council must agree to be bound by the code upon accepting office.
Rochford District Council has also adopted a Code of Conduct for its own staff.
The Code of Conduct for Members and Officers (Constitution Part 5) can be downloaded from the Related Content section.
Register of Members' Interests
All Councillors are obliged to record their financial interests in a register. Information on the kind of interests that must be registered can be found in the Members’ Code of Conduct. The register is immediately available online, but for those members of the public who do not have access to a computer, an appointment can be made to view the register at the Council Offices, South Street, Rochford, Essex SS4 1BW during office hours.
The Council’s Standards Committee
The Standards Committee is responsible for promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by District, Parish and Town Councillors and co-opted Members. Its role also includes giving the Council advice on adopting a Local Code of Conduct, monitoring the effectiveness of the Code and training Members on the Code.
The Standards Committee is made up of 8 District Councillors and 3 representatives of the Parish and Town Councils.
Three Independent persons have been appointed by the Council, as required by the Localism Act, to oversee the arrangements and provide advice and guidance.
The agenda, reports and minutes of Standards Committee meetings can be viewed from the Related Content section.
The Monitoring Officer
Rochford’s Monitoring Officer is Andrew Hunkin, Interim Director for People & Governance.
The Monitoring Officer is appointed under Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and has a number of statutory functions as well as those conferred under the Local Government Act 2000 and regulations governing local investigations into Member conduct.
The Monitoring Officer is required to prepare a report to Council where it appears to him that the authority has or is about to do anything which would be in contravention of the law or which would constitute maladministration.
Before publishing any report, the Monitoring Officer is under a duty to consult with the Chief Executive and the Section 151 Officer. Depending upon whether or not the function concerned is an executive one, the report has to be considered either by Full Council or by the Executive and the publication of the report has the effect of suspending the proposed action pending consideration of the report.
Complaints about Councillors
Rochford District Council’s Standards Committee deals with complaints that a councillor or a co-opted member of the following Councils has broken the Member’s Code of Conduct.
|Rochford District Council||Hullbridge Parish Council|
|Ashingdon Parish Council||Paglesham Parish Council|
|Barling Magna Parish Council||Rayleigh Town Council|
|Canewdon Parish Council||Rawreth Parish Council|
|Foulness Island Parish Council||Rochford Parish Council|
|Great Wakering Parish Council||Stambridge Parish Council|
|Hawkwell Parish Council||Sutton Parish Council|
|Hockley Parish Council|
Please see the links for information and guidance on how to make a complaint about a Member and to download a Code of Conduct Complaints Form.