Questions about town and parish councils
Follow Councillor Q&A on X/Twitter

Follow us on X/Twitter

0 votes
We have an upcoming meeting where for one the major debates over half the council have declared a registerable non pecuniary  interest . If a motion was put to the Full Council  to give dispensation to all the effected  Councillors  to vote,  would those same Cllrs be allowed to vote on the motion itself.
by (5.0k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Firstly, just because over half the council has a disclosable interest doesn't necessarily mean a dispensation should be given.  If you still have a quorum when those excluded from voting are discounted, there is no need for a dispensation.  The guidance generally states that a dispensation should only be given if the business of the council cannot take place without a dispensation.
Ideally you should have a dispensation policy which broadly sets out the points I've covered in my first paragraph and also sets out how a dispensation can be granted.  Also check your standing orders as these may identify the procedure to be followed.  I believe there is no set procedure in the Localism Act but am happy to be corrected.  In the absence of a policy your full council (excluding the individual seeking the dispensation) can vote on the granting of a dispensation so you'd need to take each request separately.  Many councils have a set policy which delegates authority to the Clerk to grant a dispensation in accordance with the stated policy, i.e. when the request meets the circumstances allowed for in the policy statement.
by (20.2k points)
0 votes
The clerk gives dispensations if should be in your standing orders

The localism act sets out arrangements for applying for a dispensation where you have a DPI
by (1.9k points)
edited by
Sorry these are non pecuniary other registerable  interests .  Our SOs and COP both allow for Councillors to decide on applications which must routed in writing via the Clerk
We have two warring factions involving an important upcoming community Centre decision. Of 16 Cllrs approx 6 are either trustees or married to them .  We then have another group of 4 also with registered interests who are hell bent on preventing the desired change and then there are 6 floaters who seem to hold the balance of power but know little about the history and details. When the 6 asked about applying for dispensation the clerk said I cant do it for one group without telling the  other.  So its a numbers game . I think LTN 80 3.12 allows it ?
I was just saying about the DPI because Delboy wife said it was not in the localisms act Delboys wife is right in saying if the meeting is not quorum the the clerk can give dispensations other wise the meeting can not be hold. As I see it it is up to the councillors to ask for a dispensation not for the clerk to ask the councillors if they want one
The argument about using the lack of a quorum as a guiding principle is only an interpretation as to how dispensation should be applied . It is not the only case in which dispensation can be given .  My question was can those Cllrs applying also vote on it
For ORI and NRI you should have your own dispensation policy
Our standing orders say a dispensation shall be made by the proper officer and the decision is final
I have just read the NALC Code of Conduct Model Guidelines and it appears to say that having declared your interests to the Monitoring Officer there is no need  to further declare them verbally  at each meeting .  This would leave the clerk to produce a list of those registered for the  Chairman to "implement" on each agenda item.  This would seem such a much more efficient ways of doing things rather than the  every meeting charade of listing the agenda items number and those affected.   Am I reading this correctly as since the year dot we have been reviewing things verbally at  each meeting ?
capalc code of conduct 2021 guidance
It does say you are personally responsible for deciding whether or not you should disclose an interest in a meeting
Code of conduct also states
You must disclose to that meeting the existence and nature of your interests at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent
To me this means if he has declared it than he has no further need to ie at meetings
He only has to declare what his interest is if it is not entered in the members register of interests or he has not notified the monitoring officer of it
Much of the confusion here arises because the localism act enables councils to adopt their own code of conduct provided it is broadly in line with the requirements of the act, particularly where the definition of other interests is concerned.  This does cause confusion if different councils are working to different rules so the Local Government Association has produced a "standard" which most councils are now adopting which is clearly consistent with the act and it does require councillors to declare interests at meetings as well as on the forms.
With regard to dispensations, the circumstances for allowing a dispensation are clearly laid out although the "clearly in the interests of the persons living in the authority's area" is a bit subjective.

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

3,004 questions
5,897 answers
10,236 users
Google Analytics Alternative