The Guardian has today published a story about councillors employed in ‘planning’ companies.
He contacted several of our employees before he published the story, and each of them gave the same quote:
“Thorncliffe expressly prohibits any of its employees from any form of engagement, on behalf of a client, of a local authority area of which they are an elected member.
“I fully comply with my council’s own code of conduct. It is unacceptable for councillors, of any party, to accept any form of payment to lobby their own council. My company seeks to expand good practice by having its own compliance register, and championing within the industry a ban on retired councillors from lobbying their former council for six months after they have left office.”
As a result of the story today, Managing Director Richard Patient said:
“It is unacceptable for councillors to be receiving any form of payment to lobby their own council. Our Triple Lock Code of Conduct expressly forbids it, and all the councillors we employ have to sign and obey our company code, their council’s own code, and the law.
“As a business, we’ve taken steps to put our employees into line with MPs. That’s why we have been encouraging the industry to ban retired councillors from lobbying their former council for six months. It seems the right thing to do.
“I would also quote from a former Communities Secretary of State about this issue: ‘Councillors are not full-time politicians; they can and should have outside jobs and interests’.”