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Midlothian Council is believed to be the first local authority in Scotland to produce a code of conduct for its 4,3...
Midlothian Council is believed to be the first local authority in Scotland to produce a code of conduct for its 4,300 employees, following on from a recommendation made by the Nolan committee.

Midlothian's code clearly sets out principles to guide employees on good practice in relation to their employment and responsibilities and covers areas including gifts and hospitality, use of equipment and resources, information to the public and equal opportunities.

In structuring the code, Midlothian Council adopted the seven principles of public life set down by the Nolan committee - selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. Trade unions were involved in the early stages of developing the code and will again be consulted before the document is issued to staff.

Council leader George Purcell said the code would provide clear guidance for employees which would help define the council's objective to provide the highest quality of services.

'Many of our existing policies have been incorporated within this code, but the Nolan committee recommendations have given us the opportunity to define them as a code for the first time. The public have the right to expect the highest standard to conduct from us and this code will help both staff and our customers define this standard.'

Midlothian's code is based on a National Code of Conduct for Local Government Employees published and adopted by COSLA but incorporates local circumstances. It is intended that the code will reflect any future recommendations resulting from the recently produced consultation paper entitled 'A New Ethical Framework for Local Government in Scotland'.

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