Be a councillor

Code of conduct

The behaviour of all councillors, as well as the co-opted and independent members appointed to the Council's committees, is covered by a code of conduct.

We have adopted the following code of conduct produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).


Conduct expected of members and co-opted members

You are a member or co-opted member of Kingston Council and hence you shall have regard to the following principles – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. The Members Code of Conduct can be found within the Council's Constitution

Accordingly, when acting in your capacity as a member or co-opted member:

  • you must act solely in the public interest and should never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person or act to gain financial or other material benefits for yourself, your family, a friend or close associate
  • you must not place yourself under a financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence you in the performance of your official duties
  • when carrying out your public duties you must make all choices, such as making public appointments, awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits, on merit
  • you are accountable for your decisions to the public and you must co-operate fully with whatever scrutiny is appropriate to your office
  • you must be as open as possible about your decisions and actions and the decisions and actions of your authority and should be prepared to give reasons for those decisions and actions
  • you must declare any private interests, both pecuniary and non-pecuniary, that relate to your public duties and must take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest, including registering and declaring interests in a manner conforming with the procedures set out in the box below
  • you must, when using or authorising the use by others of the resources of your authority, ensure that such resources are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes) and you must have regard to any applicable Local Authority Code of Publicity made under the Local Government Act 1986
  • you must promote and support high standards of conduct when serving in your public post, in particular as characterised by the above requirements, by leadership and example


Registering and declaring pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests

You must, within 28 days of taking office as a member or co-opted member, notify the monitoring officer of any disclosable pecuniary interest as defined by regulations made by the Secretary of State, where the pecuniary interest is yours, your spouse’s or civil partner’s, or is the pecuniary interest of somebody with whom you are living with as a husband or wife, or as if you were civil partners.

In addition, you must, within 28 days of taking office as a member or co-opted member, notify the monitoring officer of any disclosable pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest which has been decided should be included in the register.

If an interest has not been entered onto the register, then you must disclose the interest to any Council meeting at which you are present, where you have a disclosable interest in any matter being considered and where the matter is not a 'sensitive interest'.

A 'sensitive interest' is described in the Localism Act 2011 as a member or co-opted member of an authority having an interest, and the nature of the interest being such that the member or co-opted member, and the authority’s monitoring officer, consider that disclosure of the details of the interest could lead to the member or co-opted member, or a person connected with the member or co-opted member, being subject to violence or intimidation.

Following any disclosure of an interest not on the register or the subject of pending notification, you must notify the monitoring officer of the interest within 28 days beginning with the date of disclosure.

Unless dispensation has been granted, you may not participate in any discussion of, vote on, or discharge any function related to any matter in which you have a pecuniary interest as defined by regulations made by the Secretary of State. Additionally, you must observe the restrictions your authority places on your involvement in matters where you have a pecuniary or non pecuniary interest as defined by your authority.