There is no place for bullying, harassment, and intimidation within our sector and signing up to the Civility and Respect Pledge is one of the ways a council can demonstrate that it is committed to standing up to poor behaviour across our sector. Taking the pledge demonstrates positive changes, which support civil and respectful conduct.
Civility & Respect
NALC, SLCC and SPCA are inviting all councils to please take the pledge.
By signing the pledge, your council is agreeing that it will treat councillors, clerks, employees, members of the public, representatives of partner organisations, and volunteers with civility and respect in their roles, and it:
• Has put in place a training programme for councillors and staff
• Has signed up to the Code of Conduct for councillors
• Has good governance arrangements in place including staff contracts and a dignity at work policy
• Will seek professional help at early stages should civility and respect issues arise
• Will commit to calling out bullying and harassment if and when it happens
• Will continue to learn from best practice in the sector and aspire to being a role model/champion council through for example the Local Council Award Scheme
• Supports the continued lobbying for change in legislation to support civility and respect, including sanctions for elected members where appropriate
We invite all councils to include an agenda item to review the statements and sign up to the Civility and Respect Pledge. To take the pledge, visit: https://www.nalc.gov.uk/our-work/civility-and-respect-project#take-the-pledge
There is an example agenda item for the pledge to assist you on the NALC website.
Once it has signed the pledge, your council can choose to adopt the model Dignity at Work Policy, which will replace any previous bullying and harassment policy. It encompasses behaviours beyond bullying and harassment and zero-tolerance to deal with concerns before they escalate.
Model Councillor Officer Protocol
Parish and town councils are advised to consider and adopt Civility & Respect Model Councillor Officer Protocol. The purpose of the protocol is to guide councillors and officers of the council in their relations with one another. The Protocol’s intention is to build and maintain good working relationships between councillors and officers as they work together. A strong, constructive, and trusting relationship between councillors and officers is essential to the effective and efficient working of the council. This Protocol also seeks to reflect the principles underlying the Code of Conduct that apply to councillors, and the employment terms and conditions of officers. The shared objective is to enhance and maintain the integrity (real and perceived) of local government.
Additional Resources available
The Civility and Respect Project has produced numerous new materials to assist Councils. These are all available on the NALC and SLCC websites under Civility and Respect project and include the following:
• Bullying and Harassment Statement
• HR Podcasts
• Recruitment Guide
• Roles and Responsibilities guidance
• Social media guide