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Conflict of interest for councillor on 'working group' to evaluate outcome of consultation on other council they sit?

0 votes
My local parish council recently finished a village wide consultation.

They intend to set up a 'working group' that will exclusively include borough and county councillors to evaluate the results of consultation and recommend actions to the parish council.

However, said borough and county councillors also sit on the parish council.

My gut suggests there's a conflict of interest here. Say, for example, they judge that a part of the consultation be prioritised in an area of the village they live in. Or, on the other hand, they cannot speak up for the area they live in, because of acknowledging a conflict of interest.

Is there anything in legislation or perhaps in precedence I can refer to? I'm struggling but it may poor choice of words in search.
asked by (260 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
Why all the secrecy? Anybody could participate in the evaluation, even members of the public. Our last community consultation was run by a group comprising two councillors and three non-councillors.
answered by (29k points)
0 votes
Whilst the secrecy seems somewhat strange (personally I would be striving for open transparent and inclusive process to avoid aspersions/perception of bias not sure you will find legislation preventing it etc).  Ultimately if the Parish Council were the body that carried out said consultation the data collected is property of the body (so presumably held by your Parish Clerk / Council Staff).  Its now up to to that body to come to a collective decision how it wishes to move forward to process that data (i.e appointing working group and the individuals within it).
answered by (2.2k points)
0 votes

If they were to actually do what you suggested, they could be potentially in breach of some of the Seven Principles of Public Life in the code of conduct

Selflessness Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. 

Integrity 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 disclose and resolve any interests and relationships. 

Objectivity Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias. 

Accountability Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this. 

Openness Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.

 Honesty Holders of public office should be truthful. 

Leadership Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

answered by (20.8k points)

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