The conduct of councillors is formally governed by the Code of Conduct, which every council has adopted. The Code of Conduct sets out the rules that members should work to. In Leicester this forms part of the Political Conventions which all officers and members must follow. All councillors are required to sign the declaration of acceptance of office, which includes an undertaking to observe the Code of Conduct and Political Conventions. Breaches of the rules may be considered by the Standards and Audit Committee.
The General Principles for England, which all councillors must follow, are:
Members should serve only the public interest and should never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person.
Honesty and Integrity
Members should not place themselves in situationswhere their honesty and integrity may be questioned; should not behave improperly; and should, on all occasions, avoid the appearance of such behaviour.
Members should make decisions on merit, including when making appointments, awarding contracts, or
recommending individuals for rewards or benefits.
Members should be accountable to the public for their actions and the manner in which they carry out their responsibilities, and should co-operate fully and honestly with any scrutiny appropriate to their
Members should be as open as possible about their actions and those of their authority, and should be prepared to give reasons for those actions.
Members may take account of the views of others, including their political groups, but should reach their own conclusions on the issues before them and act in accordance with those conclusions.
Respect for Others
Members should promote equality by not discriminating unlawfully against any person, and by treating people with respect, regardless of their race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. They should respect the impartiality and integrity of the authority's statutory officers, and its other employees.
Duty to Uphold the Law
Members should uphold the law and, on all occasions, act in accordance with the trust that the public is entitled to place in them.
Members should do whatever they are able to do to ensure that their authority uses its resources prudently and in accordance with the law.
Members should promote and support these principles by leadership, and by example, and should always act in a way that secures or preserves public interest
There are also two very important provisions by which Members are bound at all times. These are: