Thomas Bridge 22 May 2014

Council staff in kiss-and-tell order

Council staff in kiss-and-tell order image

Staff at Ipswich BC have been asked to reveal romantic flings with colleagues as part of transparency drives at the town hall.

A new code of conduct introduced by the local authority in March requires employees to inform their managers about any 'close personal relationships' that could lead to a conflict of interest.

The edict extends from unromantic family engagements to sexual and romantic relationships, also including associations with staff at companies bidding for council contracts.

Council leader David Ellsemere emphasised the code was a matter of 'common sense'.

'We are not banning relationships. But we do need to know if they are going to impact on council business,' Ellesmere told the Ipswich Star.

However, Julie Temple, an employment solicitor from Quantrills, said it was 'almost certain that someone somewhere will challenge a code like this under human rights legislation'.

A council spokesperson said 'most personal relationships outside work' remained 'none of the council's business' and the town hall 'does not need to know about these'.

'However there are occasions when there is a risk of a conflict of interest arising between an employee's private relationships with either the council's interests or the wider public interest,' the spokesperson added.

'The council's code of conduct for employees seeks to manage those risks where the existence of an employee's close personal relationship with another person could call into question the employee's impartiality or to act in the public interest.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Prevent Community Engagement Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,982 - £29,577 pro rata
This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is seeking a challenge in an interesting field. We Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Regeneration Manager – Regeneration, Development and Growth Projects

East Suffolk Council
£46,845 - £50,705
East Suffolk Council is an exciting place to work and a great place to make a real difference to people's lives Suffolk
Recuriter: East Suffolk Council

Senior Lawyer Regeneration & Property

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£45.834 - £48.819
Are you a Senior Regeneration & Property Lawyer with local government experience and looking for variety and challenge? Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Lawyer (Planning & Highways)

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£40.869 - £43.860
Are you a Planning & Highways Lawyer with local government experience and looking for variety and challenge? Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Employment Programme Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£43.860 - £46.839
We are looking for an Employment Programmes Manager that can effectively manage a team delivering employment support programmes, with... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue