Policy change over ‘naming and shaming’ councillors

Leader of Lancaster City Council, coun Roger Mace outside Morecambe Town Hall.
Leader of Lancaster City Council, coun Roger Mace outside Morecambe Town Hall.
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City councillors will avoid being “named and shamed” in a change to the way information is shared with the press and public.

The city council’s standards committee recently reviewed its press protocol following the new standards provisions in the Localism Act 2011.

The new protocol means that where complaints against councillors do not lead to investigation, are informally resolved or there is no evidence that they have breached their code of conduct, the information will not be publicly available.

Coun Roger Mace, chairman of the standards committee, said: “The new protocol is designed to protect the integrity of the sanction of ‘naming and shaming’. There is no substantive change in respect of publicity for proven breaches of the code of conduct. In the event that there are sufficient grounds for a complaint to be investigated then it will be considered by the committee.

“A hearing before the standards committee will, as previously, generally be held in public, and the press and public would only be excluded if exempt or confidential information were to be considered. If a hearing is held in public, it can be reported and this is no different from the previous standards regime.”