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Conflicts of Interest and public participation

0 votes
In a parish council meeting, If there is an item on the agenda which a councillor has declared an interest in, are they allowed to comment on the issue in the public participation section?
asked ago by (310 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
Indeed they are. I suggest you contact the clerk/chairman before the meeting and say you want to speak in public.

The code of conduct should have a paragraph something like...
"Where a matter arises at a meeting which relates to an interest in Appendix B, the member shall not vote on the matter. He/she may speak on the matter only if members of the public are also allowed to speak at the meeting."

(See the NALC template).

HTH
answered ago by (3.5k points)
Thanks for your reply. I've looked at the Code of Conduct and you're right, its there.
–4 votes
It does depend on your type of interest and whether you have been granted dispensation or not - if you are attending the meeting as a councillor.

Taking off your councillor "hat" and putting on a member of the public "hat" on mid meeting is frowned upon as your position on the council becomes questioned, It is must better to declare an interest and not comment or ask for a dispensation and then comment.

There are two viewpoints being circulated, but you are leaving yourself open, I would take advice discussing the specific detailes from your monitoring officer
answered ago by (3.7k points)
0 votes
Typically, it depends. If your interest is non pecuniary then you should be allowed to speak but not vote and depending on the council and the issue you may also be asked to leave the debate until after the vote.

If on the other hand your interest is pecuniary (if you aren't sure this should be set out in the Code of Conduct) you will need  write to the Proper Officer (depending on size of Council this may be Parish Clerk or if you have one the Monitoring Officer) to get dispensation to speak but again you may be asked to leave the debate until after the vote.

In both cases whether you need to leave or not should be set out in your Standing Orders
answered ago by (140 points)

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