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Updated 'dos and don'ts' for Flintshire councillor behaviour

Flintshire council Image copyright Matt Harrop/Geograph
Image caption Flintshire council's standards committee will meet on Monday to discuss the new rules

Updated behaviour guidelines have been drawn up for councillors in Flintshire, after several ill-tempered debates.

The authority's standards committee will meet on Monday to review the rules, called the Flintshire Standard.

The move comes after heckling and insults during meetings.

The revised code of conduct has been welcomed by Councillor Carol Ellis, deputy leader of the Flintshire Independents Group, who described the behaviour as "unacceptable".

It states that members should not make personal remarks and allow each other to speak without interruption.

Ms Ellis accused some unnamed councillors of making rude hand gestures during a debate on council tax in February, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

"Some of the behaviour is unacceptable and bordering on bullying," she said.

"People just need to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and remember why they're there, which is to represent members of the public.

"I can be very direct but I'm always polite and I never harass anyone."

The updated document includes a reminder not to mention officers in any political remarks and to ensure they are treated with respect at public meetings held in local communities.

The council's chief officer for governance, Gareth Owens, said there had been "a desire amongst both members and officers" to review the Flintshire Standard.

He said this was to "expand and clarify the guidance within it and restate and reinforce the behaviours expected".

"It can be invoked quickly and easily in order to catch issues before significant harm occurs to that relationship and whilst people are more willing to compromise," Mr Owens added.

"It is, however, extra statutory and so does not have recourse to the legislative sanctions available following a complaint to the Ombudsman."

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