Wisdom’s Magna Carta

MC800 Gloriana waits for Her Majesty the Queen. Photo courtesy of Thames Alive squareAs we celebrate 800 years of democracy & human rights in the UK, WWRA Chair, Cllr Wisdom Da Costa proposes another change that could prove pivotal for democracy. Tell us what you think.


In my recent blog “What’s wrong with local politics?” I said I would publish a Code of Conduct so, as we are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the UK’s first human rights act, or statement of democracy, semi tongue in cheek, I thought I’d publish my own Magna Carta for discussion.

I am aware that we are all human – we all make mistakes, and learn and grow through life, and for most mistakes, forgiveness is never far away, especially if we learn from our errors. So together, let’s head in a positive direction.

king-john-seal squareThis is my DRAFT, aspirational, Independent Behaviour Model, “Wisdom’s Magna Carta”, drafted from the point of view of the WWRA, for you to read, think about, and discuss.

Would you like your elected representatives, and civic leaders, to behave in the manner noted below?

Is it all baloney?

Have I missed something out?

Tell me, and tell the WWRA, what you think – you can use the Contact Us form – click here.

Accountably yours,


Cllr Wisdom Da Costa

Chair, WWRA

13 March 2015


Wisdom’s Magna Carta – draft

NB This is a draft, and as it is for discussion purposes only, worded as if it was a WWRA document to give it context.


The aims of the WWRA are;

  1. To safeguard, promote and represent the interests of the resident members in the Association’s area.
  2. To promote the just, efficient and economical governance of West Windsor.
  3. To render assistance whenever possible, in all matters, for the benefit of the resident members in the Association’s area collectively and individually.

To help achieve these aims, the WWRA seeks to recruit, and foster the development of Councillors, and representatives of people, who demonstrate exemplary levels of integrity, maturity, and leadership – elected representatives who always put people first.

With this in mind, any election candidate who seeks sponsorship from or endorsement by the WWRA is required to aim for the highest standards of integrity and behaviour, and endeavor to achieve the standards set out in this “Independent Behaviour Model”.


Preamble to the“Independent Behaviour Model”

To help achieve and maintain such high standards, this “Independent Behaviour Model” is set out in two parts, and draws on both the “7 Principles of Public Life”, from the report of the “Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life, and the work of Dr Mara Klemich and Stephen Klemich from the organisation Heartstyles ©.

  • Part 1 Values the entire person, and recognizes that outward good behaviour stems from good internal attitudes. With this in mind, Part 1 looks at the continued, and committed, personal development of the individual
  • Part 2 Putting people first is at the heart of what the WWRA does, and we wish to encourage best practice in elected representatives in how to put people first.

Sponsored and endorsed representatives should hold themselves accountable to all residents by reaching and engaging with the wider community.


“Independent Behaviour Model” in detail

Candidates and councillors should hold themselves accountable, and aim to conduct themselves with the following points in mind;

  1. Personal conduct
    1. Diligence & hard work
    2. Integrity – Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
    3. Objectivity – Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias. Discussion with officers, and other respected individuals, including councillors
    4. Accountability – Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this. Write letters to paper, articles to website
    5. Authenticity & openness
      1. Authentic behaviour focuses on character development, being real and transparent.
      2. Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for doing so.
    6. Transforming & personal development
      1. Transforming behaviour focuses on personal growth through continual learning and development.
    7. Reliability
      1. Reliable behaviour focuses on honouring others by being dependable and keeping promises.
    8. Leadership and Achievement
      1. Achieving behaviour focuses on the vision, purpose and strategy to get things done with excellence, not perfection.
      2. Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be wiling to change poor behaviour wherever it occurs.
    9. Fulfilling your declaration oath
      1. As prescribed by The Local Elections (Declaration of Acceptance of Office) Order 2012, sponsored or endorsed representatives as required to duly and faithfully fulfil their duties according to the best of their judgments and abilities.


  1. Conduct towards others
    1. Honesty
      1. Holders of public office should be truthful.
      2. With IG & WWRA
    2. Respect
      1. Treat people with dignity
      2. Value the person, attack the issue
    3. Selflessness
      1. Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. Residents first.
    4. Relating
      1. Relating behaviour focuses on building and maintaining meaningful relationships with others.
    5. Encouraging
      1. Encouraging behaviour focuses on wanting others to grow and succeed by supporting and motivating with praise.
    6. Developing
      1. Developing behaviour focuses on coaching others towards personal growth through constructive coaching and feedback.
    7. Compassionate
      1. Compassionate behaviour focuses on a genuine desire to understand others, their behaviour and their circumstances.


This “Independent Behaviour Model” was produced by Wisdom Da Costa