Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Councillors Code of Conduct

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All councillors sign up to Bristol City Councils Code of Conduct for Members which includes the ten principles of public life below*. I have to say that the way conventional party politics works – with Whips enforcing a party line - it’s very hard to see how all councillors are consistently ‘making decisions on merit’ and reaching ‘their own conclusions on the issues before them and act in accordance with those conclusions’. This is something I will certainly examine and challenge if elected because its very important that councillors are objective and make good personal judgements (note that elected Green Party councillors won’t use a Whip system like other parties do). No point in signing up to a code you only follow part of!

*The Ten General Principles of Public Life

Selflessness – member should serve only the public interest and should
never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person.

Honesty and integrity – members should not place themselves in situations where their honesty and integrity may be questions, should not behave improperly, and should on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.

Objectivity – members should make decisions on merit, including when
making appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits.

Accountability – members should be accountable to the public for their
actions and the manner in which they carry out their responsibilities, and
should co-operate fully and honestly with any scrutiny appropriate to their particular office.

Openness – member should be as open as possible about their actions and those of their authority, and should be prepared to give reasons for thoseactions.

Personal judgement – member may take account of the views of others, including their political groups, but should reach their own conclusions on the issues before them and act in accordance with those conclusions.

Respect for others - members should promote equality by not discriminating against any person, and by treating people with respect, regardless of their race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. They should respect the impartiality and integrity of the authority’s statutory officers and its other employees.

Duty to uphold the law – members should uphold the law and, on all
occasions, act in accordance with the trust that the public is entitled to place in them.

Stewardship - member should do whatever they are able to do to ensure that their authorities use their resources prudently, and in accordance with the law.

Leadership – members should promote and support these principles by
leadership and by example, and should act in a way that secures or preserves public confidence.

BBC News - Carbon emissions 'hidden' in imported goods revealed

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The extent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions "hidden" in imported goods is growing, according to two studies. Official statistics do not include emissions created by making imported goods but researchers say they should. It comes as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports 26% of global emissions come from producing goods for trade. The Carbon Trust found such "embedded" CO2 could negate domestic carbon cuts planned in the UK up to 2025...The Carbon Trust research, posted on its website as draft findings not for circulation, confirms that the UK has increased emissions since 1990 rather than decreasing them, as politicians typically claim.

What may alarm ministers even more is a projection that the radical CO2 cuts planned by government into the 2020s may be offset by ever-increasing levels of CO2 in imports.

BBC News - Carbon emissions 'hidden' in imported goods revealed