The Royal Commission on Standards of Conduct in Public Life chaired by Lord Nolan became a standing committee and commissioned reports on many aspects of public life including local government. The Commission’s attempt to re-invigorate the ideals of public service by teaching codes of behaviour perhaps represented a last ditch attempt to reduce corruption by voluntary self-regulation rather than by legislation. The examination of the presence of corruption in British urban society in particular has revealed a peculiar complacency. Even as Nolan was issuing his first reports there were corruption cases in Glasgow, Birmingham, Paisley, Doncaster and Hull.
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