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It is the policy of Harpsden Parish Council (“HPC”) to ensure the maintenance of the highest ethical standards in all areas of its activities and to encourage a free and open culture in its dealings between its officers, members, volunteers, employees, and members of the public.

The purpose of the HPC Whistleblowing Policy is to give guidance in the event a person suspects that the above standards are not being observed by an officer, member, volunteer or employee.

If concerns relate to the activities of an officer, member, volunteer or employee, the matter should be referred to the HPC Chair.

If the concerns relate to the Chair a direct referral should be made to the Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils.

The complainant should submit their concerns in writing and may be asked to provide details of any evidence in their possession to support the allegation. The complainant may be asked to attend a meeting to address the concerns and to be questioned in relation to same. The complainant will be entitled to bring with them a second person as support. The complainant will be advised of any action that is to be taken.

Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the complainant’s working environment and/or working relationships are not prejudiced in any way by the disclosure.

The complainant is entitled to protection against any form of discrimination as a result of any legitimate concerns brought to the attention of HPC following the above procedures.

Nothing contained in this Policy will have any effect on statutory rights for protection in connection with “protected disclosures”, in accordance with the definition of “protected disclosures” given in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.