Resources for Town and Parish Councils
Register of Interests
Link to online registration page.
Declaration of Acceptance of Office
All members of town and parish councils are required to make a declaration of acceptance of office on the attached form (Declaration of Acceptance of Office form) before or at the first meeting of the parish, town or city council after their election or appointment, or before or at a later meeting fixed by the council.
The member’s signature should be witnessed by the clerk to the council, who will retain the completed form.
Wiltshire Council publishes a monthly newsletter for town and parish councils called ‘Wiltshire News’ which provides brief summaries of key reports, consultations and news about the work of Wiltshire Council.
A useful resource for town and parish clerks is the Governance Toolkit. This was produced as a partnership between the National Association of Local Councils, the Society of Local Council Clerks, the Standards Board for England and the Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors.
The toolkit provides information on a range of issues including governance, roles and responsibilities, public engagement, managing information and elections.
Code of Conduct
All town and parish Councils are required to adopt a Code of Conduct which sets the standard of behaviour expected of councillors and aims to promote public confidence in local government.
It is each member’s responsibility to comply with the Code of Conduct. Upon election or co-option to office, members sign a declaration agreeing to abide by the rules of the Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct does not apply to authorities as a whole or to the conduct of its officers or employees.
Allegations of a potential breach of the Code of Conduct are dealt with by Wiltshire Council’s Standards Committee. Information about how to make a complaint and the procedure for dealing with complaints, including a link to additional information about Wiltshire Council’s Standards Committee, can be found at How to complain about a Council Member.
Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA)
Town and parish councils are required to comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, relating to requests for copies of recorded information, and the Data Protection Act 1998.
See the Data Protection and Freedom of Information requirements pages for more information.
Councillors who are trustees of charitable organisations may be required to register an interest under paragraph 8 of the Code of Conduct and may also have a personal interest to declare. It is important that councillors are aware of their role as a trustee in order to determine whether they have an interest to register or declare.