New Freedom and Flexibility for Local Government

Local councils now have what is known as a general power of competence.

The government says that this means that; "Instead of being able to act only where the law says they can, local authorities will be freed to do anything - provided they do not break other laws."

Malvern Hills District Council has welcomed the new power of competence and will actively seek out opportunities to use this new power.

The Localism Act also abolished the former national Standards Board regime, which governed standards of conduct for elected members (councillors), and introduced a new localised regime which applies to local councils including town and parish councils.

Local councils now have a statutory duty "to promote and maintain high standards of conduct".

To meet this duty the council has:

  • Adopted a code of conduct which applies to elected members (councillors) when they are acting in their capacity as councillors
  • Set up a register of elected member (councillor) pecuniary and non pecuniary interests. The register of interests of Malvern Hills District Councillors can be accessed here. The register of parish and town councillors can be accessed here
  • Put in place arrangements for the investigation of allegations against councillors.

Any person who has concerns about the conduct of Malvern Hills District Councillors can complain to the council's Monitoring Officer.

Any person who has concerns about the conduct of a parish or town councillor can complain to the council's Monitoring Officer.