The Standards Committee
Code of Conduct For Members
The Council is committed to promoting the highest standards of conduct by members and has adopted a Code of Conduct for all members as part of its constitution. The Council has also established a Standards Committee comprising members of the Council, two independent members and two parish members appointed following public advertisement. The Committee is chaired by one of the independent members and is responsible for promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by members of the Council.
Local authorities are responsible for operating a locally based system for initial assessment of complaints that a member may have breached the Code of Conduct. The assessment of such complaints is a new function for the Standards Committee, this function was previously undertaken by the Standards Board for England.
Anyone who believes that a member of the Council may have breached the Code of Conduct can make a complaint to the Standards Committee (see below). Each complaint will be assessed to establish whether it falls within the Standards Committee's jurisdiction. A decision will be made on whether any action should be taken either by way of investigation or alternative measure. This does not mean that the Standards Committee has made up its mind about the allegation, it means that the Committee has concluded that the alleged conduct, if proven, may amount to a failure to comply with the Code of Conduct.
The only types of complaint that the Standards Committee can investigate are those which involve an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct which include where a member has -
- caused the Council to breach any of the equality enactments, bullied or failed to treat people with respect, or done something to prevent those who work for the authority from being unbiased;
- intimidated any person involved in any investigation or proceedings about a member's alleged misconduct;
- revealed information that was given to them in confidence, or stopped someone getting information that they are entitled to by law;
- damaged the reputation of their office or authority bringing their office or the council into disrepute;
- used their position improperly, to their own or someone's else's advantage or disadvantage;
- misused the authority's resources including using them improperly for political purposes;
- failed to register financial or other interests;
- failed to follow the rules relating to disclosure of a personal interest at a meeting;
- taken part in a meeting or made a decision where they have a 'disclosable pecuniary interest', or an interest that is so significant that it is likely to affect their judgement (a "prejudicial interest");
- improperly influencing a decision about a matter that they have a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in
The Standards Committee exercises the above functions in respect of both the City Council and also any parish councils for which it is responsible.
If you believe that a member may have breached the Code of Conduct please submit your complaint in writing, together with any supporting documents, which you can do by downloading and completing the Standards Committee Complaints Form and sending it to:
The City Solicitor
Manchester City Council
PO Box 532
Manchester M60 2LA
Please note that your identify and details of your complaint will normally be disclosed to the councillor who is subject to the complaint. This information will only be withheld in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Standards Committee. If you consider that the information should be withheld, please indicate the reason(s) on the form.