The Adjudication Panel for Wales (APW) is an independent tribunal whose function is to determine alleged breaches by members of local authorities in Wales of their authority’s statutory code of conduct. Its web site includes guidance, decisions and annual reports.
This regulatory body came into being in 2013 and exercises the functions of three former bodies: the Commission for Ethical Standards, the Public Standards Commissioner for Scotland and the Public Appointments Commissioner for Scotland. The Commissioner investigates complaints about the conduct of MSPs, local authority councillors and members of public bodies and also regulates how people are appointed to the boards of public bodies in Scotland. The Decisions available on the website extend back to 2003. The “Links” section gives access to the Code of Conduct for MSPs, the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and the Model Code of Conduct for Members of Devolved Public Bodies. The current Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland is available on the site itself, along with previous editions of various codes.
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The Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales keeps under review all local government areas in Wales and the electoral arrangements for the principal areas. It was known as the Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales from its establishment in 1974 up to 2013. Content on its web site includes guidance documents, annual reports 1998-1999 onwards, and minutes of commission meetings 2000 onwards.
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is the final stage for complaints about councils, all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) and some other organisations providing local public services in England. The site includes guidance, a searchable database of decisions which includes all investigation reports published since 1 April 2005, a number of special reports on the handling of complaints in particular subject areas, recent annual reports, and other publications.
The Local Government Association represents local authorities in England and Wales as well as police, fire, national park and passenger transport authorities. The web site includes recent press releases as well as briefings and responses to Bills relevant to local government. Within the “Parliament” section there are legislation guides which summarise the impact of legislation on local government and the work of the LGA in influencing the legislation as it proceeds through Parliament. LGA publications can also be downloaded from the site.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is responsible for conducting reviews of local authority electoral arrangements, and can also conduct reviews of the structure of local government and the external boundaries of local authorities. It was established on 1 April 2010. The site’s Resources section contains a database of local government orders, with links to texts wherever possible, covering the LGBCE and its various predecessor bodies from 1973 onwards.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland, established in 1973, is responsible for carrying out reviews of boundaries in Scottish local authority areas, and also, since 18 May 2017, of Scottish Parliament boundaries. Information on past boundary reviews includes links to statutory instruments. Other site content includes information papers, boundary maps and minutes of commission meetings 1974 onwards.
The LGIU is an independent research and information organisation supported by over 150 councils and the local government trade unions. It aims to be an advocate for strong democratic local government. The site gives details of publications, services and membership. All LGIU publications can be downloaded. There is also a blog.
This section of the GOV.UK web site contains information on byelaws provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. There is guidance for councils on making, amending and revoking byelaws; a set of model byelaws which councils may adapt for their own needs; and information on how members of the public may view or obtain copies of local byelaws.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG – formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government) is a ministerial department with responsibilities which include regional and local government, planning, building regulations, housing, homelessness, social exclusion, and fire and rescue services. This section of the GOV.UK web site provides information on the department’s activities, policies, publications and announcements. Specific publications, such as guidance, consultation papers, circulars, statistics and research reports, may best be found by conducting a Publications search.
The Northern Ireland Ombudsman site provides information on what are at present three separate roles: the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (which replaced on 1 April 2016 the former Assembly Ombudsman and Commissioner for Complaints), the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman and the Northern Ireland Local Government Commissioner for Standards. Each section of the site has relevant information and guidance, details of complaint procedures and annual reports.
The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales investigates complaints about public services in Wales, including local government, National Health Service organisations, the National Assembly for Wales, and many public bodies. The web site has information and guidance on the Ombudsman’s role and the complaint procedure, annual reports, investigation reports, and an occasional Ombudsman’s Casebook containing summaries of recent cases.
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), established under the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002, can investigate complaints made by members of the public against most public authorities in Scotland. Since 1 October 2010 this includes unresolved complaints about prisons, which prior to that date had been the responsibility of the former Scottish Prisons Complaints Commission (SPCC). There is advice for people wishing to complain, and for authorities complained against. “Our Findings” contains Investigation Reports – full reports on matters of public interest, laid before the Scottish Parliament – Decision Reports and the Ombudsman’s monthly newsletter.
The Standards Commission for Scotland was established pursuant to the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 to assure compliance with the Code of Conduct for Councillors and the Code of Conduct for Devolved Public Bodies. (Complaints of alleged breaches of a code are investigated in the first instance by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.) The “Codes of Conduct” section of the web site contains links to the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and Model Code of Conduct for Members of Devolved Public Bodies. Rules for the conduct of hearings are published on the web site, as are full-text decisions, December 2006 onwards and annual reports, 2010/11 onwards.
Standards for England was the operating name for the Standards Board for England, a non-departmental public body which was responsible until 31 January 2012 for promoting ethical standards amongst elected and co-opted members of local authorities. The Board was formally wound up on 31 March 2012 but its archived web site remains accessible here on the National Archives site.