Standards for England

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Who we work with

Standards for England works with:

  • 351 local authorities
  • 8,350 parish councils
  • 31 fire and rescue authorities
  • 38 police authorities
  • 6 integrated transport authorities
  • 8 national park authorities
  • the Greater London Authority
  • the City of London Corporation
  • the Broads Authority
  • the Council of the Isles of Scilly

We do not have any responsibility for the conduct of staff in these authorities, only councillors, members and co-opted members.

We are also responsible for issuing guidance to police authorities in Wales (though investigations of alleged misconduct in those authorities are carried out by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales).

Our Advice and Guidance team answer a range of enquiries about the Code of Conduct and the promotion of ethical behaviour. However, please note that we cannot provide information or advice relating to specific cases, existing or potential.

The most potentially serious cases may be referred to the First-tier Tribunal (Local Government Standards in England) for determination. The First-tier Tribunal is an independent judicial tribunal and can impose a range of sanctions, including suspending members for up to five years. You can find out more about them here.

Standards for England's main task is to ensure that standards of ethical conduct are maintained across authorities. Unlike the Local Government Ombudsman, we do not deal with issues of corporate maladministration or seek to secure financial recompense for complainants.

Download our Memorandum of Understanding with the LGO

Download our Memorandum of Understanding with the Audit Commission

Standards for England’s sponsoring department is Communities and Local Government.

Working in partnership

We engage in a number of partnerships with other organisations. Here are some recent examples:

  • Working with the Audit Commission to ensure standards issues are incorporated into comprehensive area assessments and to look at issues such as proportionate regulation and information sharing.
  • Working with the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) to ensure its guidance is consistent with the Code of Conduct.
  • Chairing the Joint Working Steering Committee which meets twice a year. The committee brings together senior officers from those organisations with an interest in the development of good ethical environments and improved public confidence in local democracy. As well as joint projects, the group provides an opportunity to share information and avoid duplication. It oversees the development and implementation of projects designed to improve local ethical frameworks, projects that underpin: transparent decision-making; better public services; and greater public confidence in local democracy.

The other organisations involved are:

Communities and Local Government

Audit Commission

Committee on Standards in Public Life

 Local Government Improvement and Development

Local Government Ombudsman

Standards Commission for Scotland

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

Centre for Public Scrutiny

There is also a Practitioners' Joint Working Steering Committee. The practitioners’ joint working steering committee undertakes cross-organisational projects and research which help support the aims of the Joint Working Steering Committee.

We have been working with the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and Local Government Improvement and Development in planning for the implementation of a parish council capacity building bid.

We also work with the Audit Commission and Local Government Improvement and Development on the ethical governance toolkit. The toolkit enables an authority to assess its standards arrangements and identify any improvements.




Last Modified: 09 11 2010
© Standards for England 2010