Declaration of Interest (Agenda Item 3)
Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests pertinent to items on this agenda.
The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is personal or prejudicial.
As the Local Development Framework (LDF) had highlighted some difficulties of interpretation in this area, the Member Services Manager felt it would be helpful for Members to have a reminder of the rules concerning declarations of interest, as well as the distinctions between ‘personal’ and ‘personal and prejudicial’ interests which Councillors have to consider.
He took Members through the Code of Conduct requirements and gave some examples. It was agreed that a note should be circulated to Members, along with the flow chart which the Standards Consultant had earlier produced on this matter. It was confirmed that the Standards Consultant would speak to members of the LDF Task and Finish Group about this topic in more detail.<1>
The Member Services Manager made clear that while officers could offer advice and guidance, they would be unaware of Members’ personal circumstances and therefore the onus for any decision on interest must remain with individuals.
If a Member had any cause for doubt about their circumstances in relation to any part of a debate, they should ask advice and/or leave the room.
He also reminded Members of the procedure itself: it was not only important to make an appropriate declaration, but also to state the type and nature of that interest (i.e. “I declare a ‘personal and prejudicial’ interest on matters concerning …. because ………. .”).
The following declarations of interest were then noted:
Lady Fisher Personal and Prejudicial interest in items 11, Thetford Growth Point 30/9 (a), and (b), and 13, items relating to the Core Strategy document, and policies.
Mr G Bambridge Personal interest in LDF matters by virtue of gaining part of his income from developers and builders
Mr A Joel Personal interest in Agenda item 5 item 21/09, as a member of Old Buckenham Parish Council.
Mr J Labouchere Personal and Prejudicial interest in anything to do with the LDF in North Elmham by virtue of being a landowner and Personal interest in Hermitage Ward
Mrs D Irving Personal interest in any LDF matters concerning Dereham by virtue of being a Town Councillor.
Mr R Kemp Personal and Prejudicial interest in LDF matters concerning Harling by virtue of being a local landowner.
Cllr C Bowes Personal interest in the Core Strategy and Development Control Policies Document Report as her family have put land forward through the LDF process.
Mr S Askew Personal and Prejudicial interest in item 13 as a landowner with land put forward to the LDF adjoining the development boundary.
Mr P Cowen Previous declaration on page 2, (Overview & Scrutiny Commission Minute 13/09) (Stow Bedon) and also Personal interest in agenda item 13 as an architect in practice in Breckland.
Mr W Smith Personal interest in LDF matters.
Mr R Kybird Personal and prejudicial interest in LDF matters owing to land ownership and business association.
Mrs T Hewett Personal interest in LDF matters owing to land ownership.
Mr I Monson Personal and Prejudicial interest due to being a member of the Parish Council and a land owner in Oxborough.
Mr J Rogers Personal interest in LDF matters owing to land under consideration.