Code of Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance is the term used to describe the system by which Local Authorities direct and control their functions and relate to their communities. Governance is about how the Council ensures that it is doing the right things, in the right way, for the right people in a timely, inclusive, open, honest and accountable manner.

Each local authority is required to develop and maintain an up to date Code of Corporate Governance and to prepare an Annual Governance Statement in order to report publicly on its compliance with the Code.

The Council’s Code of Corporate Governance has been developed in accordance with the seven core principles that should underpin the governance framework of a local authority, as outlined in the CIPFA/SOLACE guidance “Delivering Good Governance in Local Government: Framework 2016 Edition.”

Please see a copy of the Council's Code of Governance.

Governance framework

In preparing the Annual Governance Statement and highlighting improvements as part of the action plan, the Council has used the principles in the CIPFA/ SOLACE Delivering Good Governance in Local Government Framework and broken these requirements into thematic strands to form a ‘Tandridge Governance Framework’. This Framework is then used to undertake the annual governance review. 

The Council is accountable not only for how much it spends, but also how it uses the resources under its stewardship. This includes accountability for outputs, both positive and negative, and for the outcomes it has achieved. In addition, it has an overarching responsibility to serve the public interest in adhering to the requirements of legislation and government policies. It is essential that, as a whole, the Council can demonstrate the appropriateness of all their actions across all activities and have mechanisms in place to encourage and enforce adherence to ethical values and respect the rule of the law. 

Principle A is evidenced by:

  • Constitution.
  • Code of Conduct for Members (approved Full Council 22nd April 2021).
  • Declarations of Interests.
  • Confidential Reporting.
  • Anti-Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy (last updated 24th September 2021).
  • Member & Officer Protocol.
  • Standards Committee.
  • Legal advice in Committee reports.

Local government is run for the public good, organisations therefore should ensure openness in their activities. Clear, trusted channels of communication and consultation should be used to engage effectively with all groups of stakeholders, such as individual citizens and service users, as well as institutional stakeholders.

Principle B is evidenced by:

  • Schedule of Council meetings.
  • Council agendas, reports and minutes of meetings.
  • Video recordings
  • Strategic Plan.
  • Annual budget reports.
  • Newsletters (Residents, Business and Housing).

The long-term nature and impact of many of the Council’s responsibilities mean that it should define and plan outcomes and that these should be sustainable. Decisions should further the Council’s purpose, contribute to intended benefits and outcomes, and remain within the limits of authority and resources. Input from all groups of stakeholders, including citizens, service users and institutional stakeholders, is vital to the success of this process and in balancing competing demands when determining priorities for the finite resources available.

Principle C is evidenced by:

  • Strategic Plan.
  • Service Plans.
  • Housing Delivery Strategy.
  • Budget Monitoring Reports to Committees.
  • Risk Management Strategy.
  • Quarterly performance and risk committee reports.
  • Climate Change action plan.
  • Draft carbon footprint report.
  • Procurement Strategy.

The Council achieves its intended outcomes by providing a mixture of legal, regulatory, and practical interventions (courses of action). Determining the right mix of these courses of action is a critically important strategic choice that the Council has to make to ensure intended outcomes are achieved. It needs to ensure that it’s defined outcomes can be achieved in a way that provides the best trade-off between the various types of resource inputs while still enabling effective and efficient operations. Decisions made need to be reviewed frequently to ensure that achievement of outcomes is optimised.

Principle D is evidenced by:

  • Constitution.
  • Corporate and policy committee risk registers.
  • Internal Audit action plan.
  • Medium term financial plan.
  • Strategic Plan.
  • Draft Programme & Project Management (PPM) Handbook.
  • Committee Reports and minutes.
  • Whistleblowing policy.
  • Anti fraud, bribery and corruption policy.
  • Risk Management Strategy.
  • Risk registers.

The Council needs appropriate structures and leadership, as well as people with the right skills, appropriate qualifications and mind-set, to operate efficiently and effectively and achieve intended outcomes within the specified periods. It must ensure that it has both the capacity to fulfil its own mandate and to make certain that there are policies in place to guarantee that it’s management has the operational capacity for the organisation as a whole. Because both individuals and the environment in which an organisation operates will change over time, there will be a continuous need to develop its capacity as well as the skills and experience of individual Officers. Leadership is strengthened by the participation of people with many different types of backgrounds, reflecting the structure and diversity of communities. 

Principle E is evidenced by:

  • Staffing structure.
  • Partnership and Service Level Agreements.
  • Job descriptions.
  • Constitution.
  • Quarterly performance reports.
  • Internal Audit reports. 
  • HR policies.
  • Scheme of delegation (Constitution).
  • Contract standing orders (CSOs). 

The Council needs to ensure that the organisations and governance structures that it oversees have implemented, and can sustain, an effective performance management system that facilitates effective and efficient delivery of planned services. Risk management and internal control are important integral parts of a performance management system and are crucial to the achievement of outcomes. Risk should be considered and addressed as part of all decision making activities. A strong system of financial management is essential for the achievement of policies and the achievement of intended outcomes, as it will enforce financial discipline, strategic allocation of resources, efficient service delivery and accountability. It is also essential that a culture and structure for scrutiny are in place as a key part of accountable decision making, policy making and review. A positive working culture that accepts, promotes and encourages constructive challenge is critical to successful scrutiny and successful service delivery. Importantly, this culture does not happen automatically, it requires repeated public commitment from those in authority.

Principle F is evidenced by:

  • Risk Management Policy & Strategy.
  • Financial Regulations.
  • Budget & MTFS.
  • Contract standing orders (CSOs). 
  • HR Policies & Procedures.
  • Anti fraud, bribery and corruption Policy.
  • Whistleblowing Policy.
  • Internal Audit Plan.
  • Internal Audit Reports.
  • ICT Policies.
  • Data Protection Policy.
  • S151 Officer.

Accountability is about ensuring that those making decisions and delivering services are answerable for them. Effective accountability is concerned not only with reporting on actions completed, but also ensuring that stakeholders are able to understand and respond as the organisation plans and carries out its activities in a transparent manner. Both external and internal audit contribute to effective accountability. 

Principle G is evidenced by:

  • Code of Governance.
  • Annual Governance Statement (AGS).
  • Annual Internal Audit Report.
  • Annual External Audit Letter.
  • Statement of Accounts.
  • Pay Policy Statement.
  • Complaints Policy.


The Code of Corporate Governance is reviewed annually by:

  • Extended Management Team (Senior Management).
  • Audit and Scrutiny Committee.

as part of the preparation of the Annual Governance Statement.

Extended Management Teams (EMTs), service meetings and 121 meetings

All Officers meet regularly and review governance arrangements within their services and individually, including business and service planning, financial and risk management. Senior Managers and Heads of Service are required to report any issues raised at such meetings to the EMT Group and any officer may raise a governance concern through a range of measures, if they wish to.