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Conduct when serving on both a parish, ward and county council.

0 votes
There's a councillor who serves on a local parish council. They also serve on the council for the borough that this parish council is in. And they represent that borough on the county council.

Some things haven't 'sat well' with me, and I wondered whether I'm overreacting or there's cause to formally raise issue.

I noticed 4 years ago during some minutes for a borough meeting, they declared an interest in the parish as they were discussing the neighbourhood plan initiative which the parish had drawn up. On which they were a councillor. So the interest was obvious and right to declare.

However, any mention of the parish in further borough meetings had no declaration of interest. Is this right? If it's fine, then what line exists - if any - for a borough or county councillor to contribute to matters that concern a parish that they are also councillors on?
by (280 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
Personally in view of the current chaotic system of local government I think having an overlap with Councillors serving on more than tier is a positive thing
The roles should be declared on the Declarations of Interests but I don’t see the need to declare an interest at every meeting
But if they were personally involved in the neighbourhood plan I think they did the right thing by declaring an interest
I’m both a Parish and Borough Councillor and attempts  have been made to exclude me from Parish meetings but without success
However there was one case where there was a dispute between Parish and Borough and I thought it wise to voluntarily leave the meeting
by (6.2k points)
0 votes

Mere mention of the Parish might not merit a declaration of interest.  However the integrity element of a Councillors code of conduct says "Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships."  I would argue that a Parish Council counts as an organisation, and that an interest must be declared, if it is clear from the agenda that a discussion about a Parish or Town Council might arise.

by (30.4k points)
0 votes
I agree with Jules. Having a Cllr on both levels can be quite a benefit to the parish with info often being delivered to parish level quicker.

The conflict is really owned by the Councillor in regards to 'loyalty' and any potential conflict their decisions/votes at a higher level may have at a lower level, but this is what they signed up for.

So long as interests have been declared at every essential opportunity then all should be ok.
by (5.4k points)

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