The council plays a vital role in local affairs. As the only local organisation run by elected representatives it is uniquely placed to lead the community and to serve local people.
However, to do so effectively there needs to be a bond of trust between local residents and the councillors who are elected.
Trust must be earned and be seen to be earned. There are laws and codes of conduct which councillors must observe. To build trust the public need to know what is required. They also need access to evidence that these duties are being met and that any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously.
Under the terms of the Localism Act 2011, each local authority is required to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by its Members and co-opted members. In discharging this duty a council must adopt a Code of Conduct.
To add transparency to the democratic processes, when elected to office, councillors sign the register of interests which details their employment, business and employer details as well as details of any payments and remuneration or assets held by them.
This register is available to members of the public by visiting the Civic Centre. You can do this by contacting the Borough Solicitor's office on 01895 250617 or your councillor.
Hillingdon Council has had a Standards Committee since 1999. It is required by law to have one. It sits outside of the Cabinet and it reports directly to full council.
The meetings of the committee take place on a quarterly basis but there are occasions when a special meeting needs to be called for the purpose of considering specific, urgent items of business, such as complaints against Members or co-opted members of the council.
The terms of reference of the Standards Committee can be found in the council's Constitution, the most significant of which are to promote and maintain high standards of conduct across the council and to monitor and oversee the respective Codes of Conduct which apply to both councillors and officers.