23rd July 2024

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Will Your Council Take The Civility & Respect Pledge?

Will Your Council Take The Civility & Respect Pledge?

Civility and respect should be at the heart of public life, and good governance is fundamental to ensuring an effective and well-functioning democracy at all levels.

The intimidation, abuse, bullying and harassment of councillors, clerks and council staff, in person or online, is unacceptable, whether by councillors, clerks, council staff, or public members.

This can prevent councils from functioning effectively, councillors from representing local people, discourage people from getting involved, including standing for election, and undermine public confidence and trust in local democracy.

NALC, county associations and OVW, as the membership organisations representing the first tier of local government in England and Wales, and the SLCC, as the professional body for clerks, are committed to working together to promote civility and respect in public life, good governance, positive debate and supporting the well-being of councillors, professional officers and staff.

LRALC, NALC, SLCC, and OVW believe now is the time to put civility and respect at the top of the agenda and start a culture change for the local council sector.

The Civility and Respect Pledge is being introduced because there is no place for bullying, harassment and intimidation within our sector. The pledge is easy for councils to sign up for and it will enable councils to demonstrate that they are committed to standing up to poor behaviour across our sector and to driving through positive changes which support civil and respectful conduct.

We invite all councils to take the Civility and Respect Pledge.

By signing the Pledge, your council is agreeing that the council will treat councillors, clerks, employees, members of the public, and representatives of partner organisations and volunteers with civility and respect in their roles and that it:

  • Has put in place a training programme for councillors and staff
  • Has signed up to the Code of Conduct for councillors
  • Has good governance arrangements in place including staff contracts and a dignity at work policy
  • Will seek professional help at the early stages should civility and respect issues arise
  • Will commit to calling out bullying and harassment if and when it happens
  • Will continue to learn from best practices in the sector and aspire to be a role model/champion council through for example the local Local Council Award Scheme
  • Supports the continued lobbying for change in legislation to support the Civility and Respect Pledge including sanctions for elected members where appropriate

Click here for further info and resources.

Posted: Thu, 21 Jul 2022 19:35 by Jake Atkinson

Tags: Bullying, Civility, Nalc, Respect, Slcc