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0 votes

Are the DoIs of parish councillors required to be displayed on the PC webpage AS WELL as the requirement for them to be accessible via the LA webpage or is LA webpage enough?

I tried to piggy-back on to this thread: https://towncouncillor.com/13325/refused-provide-register-interests-form-conduct-form-what?show=13325#q13325 in the hope it would return it to the top of the page but it doesn't seem to have done so.  

Did you ever get a resolution to this problem "Progress" (like, was there any progress );0)

by (21.1k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer

Yes it must appear on both the principal council website and the parish council website (if it has one)

Localism Act 2011 section 29(7) "A parish council must, if it has a website, secure that its register is published on its website."

by (4.6k points)
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I accept that, but it doesn't satisfy the reference provided by AR above....
Well iam happy we just provide the link, really who cares as long as the information is available
Who cares....?
Well I do because I'll be asked to vote to accept an assertion that the council took all reasonable steps to assure itself that there are no matters of actual or potential non-compliance with laws, regulations and proper practices,,,

Call me old fashioned, but I don't give my vote away on a whim.
As I said I have been advised that a link is acceptable, and a great majority of parish councils just provide the link.if you are not happy with a link, then debate it with your council at the relevant point
Somebody once told me the moon was made of cheese....
0 votes

Our borough council requires the parish councillors to complete an RoI online and so on our parish website, I have just included the link to the borough council website page.  I would argue that this is sufficient and has never been challenged.

by (24.4k points)
I see your point.

It would work if the BC keeps their page up to date and you could argue, if challenged (unlikely), that the link is "publishing."
There is probably a smart cyber lawyer that would challenge the definition of publication or link to a secondary source but that's unlikely to ever happen.

In my example I can neither rely upon the PC clerk to have 'encouraged' Cllrs to have completed their declarations in a timely manner, nor upon the Cllrs to be personally responsible, nor can I rely upon the LA to keep their webpage up to date since they are (despite several reminders) still showing Cllrs that left over 12 months ago and not showing those that have joined >28 days ago.

I'm content with my reading of Mr Angry's reference above to justify the requirement to publish on PC website.
Since there is a statutory requirement, any PC NOT publishing (or perhaps linking to higher authority publication) must, by definition, be failing in AGAR Section 1 assertion 3 where they affirm actual or potential compliance with law...
It’s clear just like Parish Councils Local Authorities are a mixed bag
The Democratic Services team at our Borough are fantastic they constantly remind all Councillors about the importance of keeping your declaration up to date and revise them instantly
They regularly issue a Newsletter to all Parish Councils and the Monitoring Officer is always happy to advise individual Parish Councillors
It is a standing item on our clerk's report to council each month that reminds councillors of their responsibility to keep their declaration of interests up to date but it is councillors responsibility to do so.  As forms can be sent directly to the Monitoring Officer by councillors, our council simply publishes a link to the relevant page on principal authority's website and as Mrs. A. has said, this has never been challenged.
Understand your position DBsW, and can see that it may have become 'custom' to post a link to higher authority webpage, but where did that custom start, who says it is OK and on what authority?

Totally accept it has never been challenged (like so very much), but if it were, what reference would you present to support?
Who started it, why are people doing it?  It has the hallmarks of some sort of NALC / SLCC practice note or training output and I'm just trying to trace it back to source (purely for academic curiosity.)
The Localism Act 2011 s29 states that the monitoring officer must establish and maintain the register of interest and that they are responsible for publishing the register on their website.  Subsection 6 then goes on to say that the monitoring office must ensure that parish councillors registers are available for physical inspection and on the principle authority's website too.  Subsection 7 requires the clerk to publish the register on their website.

In my case, the register of interests is an online form which the councillors must complete therefore it makes sense for this link to be shared on the parish council's website.  Otherwise it would create a lot of work to print out an online form, scan it and add it to the parish council website, only to have to do it again whenever the register is changed.  It makes more sense for there to be one form which can be updated and links to signpost residents to this form for the most accurate copy of the register.
OK, it's probably run its course.  I suspect there isn't an answer....

There is no disputing the references which state that the MO must publish at the LA webpage, as there is no disputing the reference that a PC must publish at its website (Localism Act 2011 section 29(7) "A parish council must, if it has a website, secure that its register is published on its website.")
So what we have is 2 valid references stating 2 very clear requirements and in between the 2 an apparently common practice which only (genuinely) satisfies 1 of the 2 valid references.

The critical question still stands - who decided the (apparently) common practice is OK?  If we can't answer that then it must follow that we cannot affirm "YES" to Section 1 Q3 of the AGAR.

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