Saturday 3 March 2012

Nothing to Declare?

As regular readers will be aware I am interested in issues around Codes of Conduct and Declarations of Interest. Of course, if declarations of financial or prejudicial interest are made by Councillors or Council officers at meetings these should be (and usually are) dutifully minuted, so as to remove any shadow of doubt in the minds of the public that any undue influence may have been exerted and therefore codes of conduct possibly breached. Whether or not certain interests are declared should be a matter of judgement, and the general principle that officers and councillors should consider when exercising that judgement is 'public perception'.

We can then conclude, if it is not in the minutes, then no declarations were made and the Councillor or officer was present when the discussion and decision concerning themselves took place. In fact the minutes of the particular meeting I am thinking of clearly state that 'no declarations of interest were made' and, as per usual, the minutes were signed as correct at the next meeting.

and if you were wondering which meeting I was thinking about, it was this one;

an afterthought;
The minutes for the Executive Board meeting (above) were then put forward to full council on the 8th February for approval and in case anyone wanted to raise any questions. As time was running out after the vote of no confidence, the remaining items, including this Executive Board report for the 23rd January, were rushed through with no questions or discussion allowed. Again, no one present declared an interest.

No comments: