Page header image

About Us

The Standards Commission is an independent body whose purpose is to encourage high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct for councillors and those appointed to the boards of devolved public bodies.

Updated Guidance on the Councillors' Code of Conduct

8th February 2024

The Standards Commission has updated its Guidance on the Councillors’ Code, in light of feedback and issues that have arisen during the Ethical Standards Commissioner’s investigations and at Hearings. Thank you very much to everyone who helped us with suggestions and feedback.

A copy of the updated Guidance can be found on our website at: 

The main changes are the inclusion of:

  • more information and examples about when the Code applies;
  • information about how the Standards Commission will make an objective assessment when deciding whether alleged conduct could amount to a breach of the respect, courtesy, bullying or harassment provisions in the Code;
  • a note advising that anyone can make a complaint to the Ethical Standards Commissioner about an alleged breach of the Code and that pressurising Council employees to do could compromise their political neutrality;
  • more information about what might constitute registrable Category Five: Houses, Land and Buildings interest;
  • more information about what might constitute a registrable Category 8: non-financial interest;
    specific guidance on participating in decisions on the Council’s budget when a councillor has a personal interest under Section 5; and
  • further guidance on ‘pre-judging’ under Section 7.

Please note that the Guidance refers to the joint Advice Note for Councillors on the Right of Access to Information produced by the Improvement Service and Standards Commission. This will be issued shortly.

If you have any queries about the updated Guidance, please contact us: