Venue: Room 3c FLOOR 3 GRAFTON HOUSE
Contact: Trish Sutton 01473 432512
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor W Knowles.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Appointment of Chairman
Councillor D Goldsmith was elected as Chairman.
AGD/12/01 General Dispensations for all Councillors
4.1 The Head of Corporate Services explained that the reason for convening the meeting was to consider the principles of dispensations for Councillors participating in council business where they had a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, if the item of business to be considered affected that interest, in line with the principles as set out in the Localism Act 2011.
4.2 The Register of Interests for each member was available to view on the Council’s website and paper copies of these interests could be made available if requested.
4.3 The disclosure of a specific Disclosable Pecuniary Interest also included any interest which a spouse or partner could have in an item of business being considered by a Committee.
4.4 Discussion took place around a letter, which was circulated at the meeting, sent from the Department for Communities and Local Government to all local authority Leaders entitled ‘Removing unnecessary red tape: Council Tax setting’.
4.5 The Head of Corporate Services confirmed that the Council’s key decisions to be made over the next one to four months (including exempt items) were published weekly in the Forthcoming Decisions notice and was available to view on the Council’s website. Members could view any decisions due to be made by Executive or by Officers delegated authority by the Executive to consider whether a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest should be declared.
1. that the Audit & Governance (Dispensations) Sub-Committee confirmed that ‘in principle’ that it would be in the public interest to enable Members to participate and vote on Council business wherever possible, and that the benefit of their representation of their communities on the following issues outweighed any perceived risk that Members could place undue weight on their own personal Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any of the items of business which related to:
· Council Housing matters: where a Councillor (or spouse or partner) held a tenancy or lease within the Council;
· Housing Benefit: where a Councillor (or spouse or partner) received Housing Benefit;
· Members’ allowances, travelling expense, payment or indemnity for Councillors;
· The setting of the Council Tax or a Precept;
· Council Tax Benefit, or
· Matters affecting contracts of a value of less that £750 p.a. where the Council provided services to Councillors on the same terms as to other members of the public – for example, agreements with the Council for subscriptions to the sports and leisure ICard membership, or car park season tickets etc.
- As long as the matter, as detailed above, did not directly relate to the particular circumstances or a personal claim made by a Councillor (or spouse or partner).
2. that the Audit & Governance (Dispensations) Sub-Committee confirmed ‘in principle’ that any dispensation application made by any Member of the Council to speak and vote, in circumstances where they would otherwise have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any of the above matters, should be granted a dispensation to allow any Member to participate fully in such matters throughout their term of office.
3. that the Audit & Governance (Dispensations) Sub-Committee authorised the Monitoring Officer ... view the full minutes text for item 4.