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Gift and Hospitality

0 votes
The Chairman has taken lots of flights in a light aircraft for the benefit of requesting enforcement. I can only go back 5 years however it seems he has never once declared the hospitality or gift. The pilot has been the wife of the vice chairman taking off and landing in the parish. Should it be declared as it seems a expensive treat?
by (140 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
I think we need some more information here.  Is this directly in connection with his role as Chair or in connection with his council role?  If so, then yes it should be declared but otherwise, probably not.
by (5.0k points)
His role as parish chairman
0 votes
How did the flights benefit requesting enforcement?
by (41.0k points)
He regularly takes pictures to send to enforcement officers
Are we talking about planning issues then?  Have the photographs led to action being taken by other authorities?
Possible breach of planning it’s ongoing
Its an interesting point as it sounds as if the flight is arranged to facilitate council work but provided FOC?  Not sure it qualifies as a "gift or hospitality".  I get a lift to council meetings, training events, etc. sometimes and don't count that as a "gift or hospitality".  Maybe I should!
Yep, that's where I was going with this one. If the vice-chair gave the chair a lift in a car to facilitate council work, it wouldn't be deemed a gift or hospitality. How lovely to have the option of a light aircraft!
It’s the wife of the vice chair taking him up. I can only see it as a gift or hospitality. Somewhere in the region of 20 times in the past 5 years seems very serious breach of guidelines to me
I'd only see it as a gift or hospitality if he got some personal gain from it which is directly related to his council role.  I think the legislation is aimed at situations whereby a resident/business etc. "rewards" a councillor which might be seen as a monetary (or equivalent) inducement to vote in a certain way.  It usually arises if a councillor receives a christmas box/gift solely as a result of being a councillor (very difficult to prove in any event) and I've had experience where the local High Sheriff gave a drinks party to parish council chairs and I recall a debate about how much the buffet cost the High Sheriff but not in connection with a lift (albeit airborne) to undertake council work.
The fact that one person is the current chairman of the council and the other is the wife of the current vice-chairman of the council is of no consequence. When not acting in an official capacity, members of councils enjoy the same freedoms as all other citizens. If the chairman is acting in an official capacity, a public-spirited member of the public is assisting him in the performance of his duties, at their own expense presumably. Any perceived benefit is to the community, not to the individual.

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