Civility & Respect Project
Throughout our sector, there are growing concerns about the impact bullying, harassment and intimidation is having on our councils, councillors and staff and the resulting effectiveness of local councils. In response, the Civility and Respect Project has been founded by the Civility and Respect Working Group and is supported by representatives from across our sector including the SLCC, National Association of Local Councils (NALC) councils, County Associations and One Voice Wales (OVW).
The Civility and Respect Project Working Group set out a mission statement summarising the core aims and values for securing permanent change in the sector:
‘Civility and respect should be at the heart of public life and good governance is fundamental to ensuring an effective and well-functioning democracy at all levels.
The intimidation, abuse, bullying and harassment of councillors, professional officers and staff, in person or online, is totally unacceptable; whether that is by councillors, professional officers, staff or members of the public.
This can prevent councils from functioning effectively, councillors from representing local people, discourage people from getting involved including standing for election, and undermine public confidence and trust in local democracy.
National Association of Local Councils (NALC), county associations of local councils and One Voice Wales (OVW), as the membership organisations representing the first tier of local government in England and Wales, and Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) as the professional body for clerks, are committed to working together to promote civility and respect in public life, good governance, positive debate and supporting the well-being of councillors, professional officers and staff.
To that end the Group will be working to deliver tangible resources, actions and interventions in four main areas: providing councils with the tools to support good governance; lobbying to strengthen the standards regime and encourage more people to get involved; training; and processes to intervene to provide support to struggling councils.’
The Project Workstreams
The working group had identiﬁed a signiﬁcant number of changes and improvements considered vital to provide support to help reduce and manage the issues related to bullying and harassment in the sector. These factors have been organized into six project workstreams which together will deliver on the Civility and Respect Working Group mission.
Click here to view the November 2021 newsletter.