The Committee has had a long-standing interest in local government, which was the subject of its third report, and which it has considered a number of times since then.
We considered whether there was a need for a centralised body to govern and adjudicate on standards. We concluded that whilst the consistency and independence of the system could be enhanced, there was no need to reintroduce a centralised body, and that local authorities should retain ultimate responsibility for implementing and applying the Seven Principles of Public Life in local government.
We made a number of recommendations and identified best practice to improve ethical standards in local government. We recommend a number of changes to primary legislation, which would be subject to Parliamentary timetabling; but also to secondary legislation and the Local Government Transparency Code, which we hope could be implemented more swiftly. Our best practice recommendations for local authorities should be considered a benchmark of good ethical practice, which we expect that all local authorities can and should implement.