NEW guidelines on councillors accepting gifts and hospitality have been drawn up.

Darlington Borough Council has produced the draft protocol, which will be considered by its standards committee next week.

It warns authority members that they should "treat with extreme caution" any gift, favour or hospitality made to them personally.

The guidelines do not apply to gifts received from family and friends that are not related to council matters or for facilities or hospitality provided by the council. But they do state that councillors must not accept gifts for any work they do as an elected member.

A councillor must provide written notification to the town hall's monitoring officer within 28 days of receiving a gift worth more than £25.

The committee will discuss the protocol on Monday.