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New code of conduct rules out councillor criticism

PERSONAL and public criticisms by councillors have been all but ruled out in a new code of conduct.

The draft code will go before councillors at a special council meeting tonight, and they’ll pretty much have to adopt it, or an altered version of it, if they are to meet the minister’s deadline.

Minister for Local Government, Jeanette Powell, has given council until tomorrow to adopt a new code of conduct, in response to public concern about the numerous investigations and controversial events that have plagued council since last October’s election.

Councillors have been working through their new code, which incorporates statutory requirements as specified in the Local Government Act.

It covers matters relating to the role of councillors and how they should act towards each other and in the community.

Key changes have been made from the previous code, adopted in 2009.

Under the sub-heading “communication”, there is a section which re-iterates a previous motion adopted by council in reaction to public criticisms of the chief executive officer and councillors.

It states while council supports “transparency” and “free speech”, it “does not and will not condone personal and public criticisms of councillors, staff and the organisation”.

There is also a change from the previous code, essentially freeing up councillors to speak more.

This post is part of the thread: Council Dramas – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

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