In addition to guidance under the national code of conduct which covers the actions of elected members and council employees, Birmingham City Council is adding its own guidance. These new codes of conduct are detailed in The Birmingham Post(p3). Councillors are advised not to become too friendly with officers, with the warning that familiarity could damage individual relationships and prove embarrassing to other members. The council's guidance states: 'Situations should be avoided that could give rise to suspicion and any appearance of improper conduct or behaviour. This includes excessive socialising between members and officers.'
Thousands of parents will be asked their views on a radical shake-up of school holidays - despite fierce opposition from union leaders. Derbyshire CC is sending out 130,000 leaflets as part of a huge consultation exercise on proposals to change from the traditional three terms a year to six. The council's cabinet member for education, Alan Charles, told the Yorkshire Post(p8): 'Creating a six-term year will be educationally beneficial to students and teachers as terms will be of more equal length, which will be better for planning. These changes would be significant and the county council would like to hear what parents, pupils and other people in the community think about the idea.'
IN DEPTH: FORMER LEADER LEVELS ACCUSATION OF INTIMIDATION AT COUNCIL HOUSING CHIEFS
Sheffield City Council chiefs were accused on Saturday of intimidating tenants of their 62,000 council houses into voting their homes out of local authority control and into the hands of six trusts next year. But former Labour city council leader and housing chairman Clive Betts, now MP for Sheffield Attercliffe, told the commons: 'The Liberal Democrats on the council are saying to people - if you don't vote for a stock transfer, your houses won't be repaired and they won't be improved. And I think that sort of threat is wrong and I hope ministers will clearly resist it and say that they are wrong to make those threats to try and force the vote in a certain direction. The vote should be a fair one and people should be able to make their choice not based on that sort of effective intimidation,' reports the Yorkshire Post(p10).
by assistant editor Neil Watson