Code of Conduct

PART 3

INTERESTS

Personal Interests

  1. (1) You must in all matters consider whether you have a personal interest, and whether this code of conduct requires you to disclose that interest.

(2)   You must regard yourself as having a personal interest in any business of your authority if —

(a)    it relates to, or is likely to affect —

(i)               any employment or business carried on by you;

(ii)             any person who employs or has appointed you, any firm in which you are a partner or any company for which you are a remunerated director;

(iii)            any person, other than your authority, who has made a payment to you in respect of your election or any expenses incurred by you in carrying out your duties as a member;

(iv)            any corporate body which has a place of business or land in your authority’s area, and in which you have a beneficial interest in a class of securities of that body that exceeds the nominal value of £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body;

(v)              any contract for goods, services or works made between your authority and you or a firm in which you are a partner, a company of which you are a remunerated director, or a body of the description specified in sub-paragraph (iv) above;

(vi)            any land in which you have a beneficial interest and which is in the area of your authority;

(vii)           any land where the landlord is your authority and the tenant is a firm in which you are a partner, a company of which you are a remunerated director, or a body of the description specified in sub-paragraph (iv) above;

(viii)         any body to which you have been elected, appointed or nominated by your authority;

(ix)            any —

(aa)     public authority or body exercising functions of a public nature;

(bb)     company, industrial and provident society, charity, or body directed to charitable purposes;

(cc)      body whose principal purposes include the influence of public opinion or policy;

(dd)     trade union or professional association; or

(ee)     private club, society or association operating within your authority’s area,

in which you have membership or hold a position of general control or management;

(x)              any land in your authority’s area in which you have a licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy for 28 days or longer;

(b)    a decision upon it might reasonably be regarded as affecting —

(i)             your well-being or financial position, or that of a person with whom you live, orany person withwhom you have a close personal association;

(ii)            any employment or business carried on by persons as described in 10(2)(b)(i);

(iii)          any person who employs or has appointed such persons described in 10(2)(b)(i), any firm in which they are a partner, or any company of which they are directors;

(iv)           any corporate body in which persons as described in 10(2)(b)(i) have a beneficial interest in a class of securities exceeding the nominal value of £5,000; or

(v)            any body listed in paragraphs 10(2)(a)(ix)(aa) to (ee) in which persons described in 10(2)(b)(i) hold a position of general control or management,

to a greater extent than the majority of—

(aa)      in the case of an authority with electoral divisions or wards, other council tax payers, rate payers or inhabitants of the electoral division or ward, as the case may be, affected by the decision; or

(bb)     in all other cases, other council tax payers, ratepayers or inhabitants of the authority’s area.

Disclosure of Personal Interests

  1. (1) Where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority and you attend a meeting at which that business is considered, you must disclose orally to that meeting the existence and nature of that interest before or at the commencement of that consideration, or when the interest becomes apparent.

(2)   Where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority and you make —

(a)    written representations (whether by letter, facsimile or some other form of electronic communication) to a member or officer of your authority regarding that business, you should include details of that interest in the written communication; or

(b)    oral representations (whether in person or some form of electronic communication) to a member or officer of your authority you should disclose the interest at the commencement of such representations, or when it becomes apparent to you that you have such an interest, and confirm the representation and interest in writing within 14 days of the representation.

(3)   Subject to paragraph 14(1)(b) below, where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority and you have made a decision in exercising a function of an executive or board, you must in relation to that business ensure that any written statement of that decision records the existence and nature of your interest.

(4)   You must, in respect of a personal interest not previously disclosed, before or immediately after the close of a meeting where the disclosure is made pursuant to sub-paragraph 11(1), give written notification to your authority in accordance with any requirements identified by your authority’s monitoring officer or in relation to a community council, your authority’s proper officer from time to time but, as a minimum containing —

(a)    details of the personal interest;

(b)    details of the business to which the personal interest relates; and

(c)    your signature.

(5)   Where you have agreement from your monitoring officer that the information relating to your personal interest is sensitive information, pursuant to paragraph 16(1), your obligations under this paragraph 11 to disclose such information, whether orally or in writing, are to be replaced with an obligation to disclose the existence of a personal interest and to confirm that your monitoring officer has agreed that the nature of such personal interest is sensitive information.

(6)   For the purposes of sub-paragraph (4), a personal interest will only be deemed to have been previously disclosed if written notification has been provided in accordance with this code since the last date on which you were elected, appointed or nominated as a member of your authority.

(7)   For the purposes of sub-paragraph (3), where no written notice is provided in accordance with that paragraph you will be deemed as not to have declared a personal interest in accordance with this code.

Prejudicial Interests

  1. (1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2) below, where you have a personal interest in any business of your authority you also have a prejudicial interest in that business if the interest is one which a member of the public with knowledge of the relevant facts would reasonably regard as so significant that it is likely to prejudice your judgement of the public interest.

(2)   Subject to sub-paragraph (3), you will not be regarded as having a prejudicial interest in any business where that business—

(a)    relates to —

(i)             another relevant authority of which you are also a member;

(ii)            another public authority or body exercising functions of a public nature in which you hold a position of general control or management;

(iii)          a body to which you have been elected, appointed or nominated by your authority;

(iv)           your role as a school governor (where not appointed or nominated by your authority) unless it relates particularly to the school of which you are a governor;

(v)            your role as a member of a Local Health Board where you have not been appointed or nominated by your authority;

(b)    relates to —

(i)             the housing functions of your authority where you hold a tenancy or lease with your authority, provided that you do not have arrears of rent with your authority of more than two months, and provided that those functions do not relate particularly to your tenancy or lease;

(ii)            the functions of your authority in respect of school meals, transport and travelling expenses, where you are a guardian, parent, grandparent or have parental responsibility (as defined in section 3 of the Children Act 1989) of a child in full time education, unless it relates particularly to the school which that child attends;

(iii)          the functions of your authority in respect of statutory sick pay under Part XI of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, where you are in receipt of, or are entitled to the receipt of such pay from your authority;

(iv)          the functions of your authority in respect of an allowance or payment made in accordance with the provisions of Part 8 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011(6), or an allowance or pension provided under section 18 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989(7);

(c)    your role as a community councillor in relation to a grant, loan or other form of financial assistance made by your community council to community or voluntary organisations up to a maximum of £500.

(3)   The exemptions in subparagraph (2)(a) do not apply where the business relates to the determination of any approval, consent, licence, permission or registration.

Overview and Scrutiny Committees

  1. You also have a prejudicial interest in any business before an overview and scrutiny committee of your authority (or of a sub-committee of such a committee) where —

(a)       that business relates to a decision made (whether implemented or not) or action taken by your authority’s executive, board or another of your authority’s committees, sub-committees, joint committees or joint sub-committees; and

(b)       at the time the decision was made or action was taken, you were a member of the executive, board, committee, sub-committee, joint-committee or joint sub-committee mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) and you were present when that decision was made or action was taken.

Participation in Relation to Disclosed Interests

  1. (1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2), (2A), (3) and (4), where you have a prejudicial interest in any business of your authority you must, unless you have obtained a dispensation from your authority’s standards committee —

(a)    withdraw from the room, chamber or place where a meeting considering the business is being held —

(i)            where sub-paragraph (2) applies, immediately after the period for making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the business has ended and in any event before further consideration of the business begins, whether or not the public are allowed to remain in attendance for such consideration; or

(ii)          in any other case, whenever it becomes apparent that that business is being considered at that meeting;

(b)    not exercise executive or boardfunctions in relation to that business;

(c)    not seek to influence a decision about that business;

(d)    not make any written representations (whether by letter, facsimile or some other form of electronic communication) in relation to that business; and

(e)    not make any oral representations (whether in person or some form of electronic communication) in respect of that business or immediately cease to make such oral representations when the prejudicial interest becomes apparent.

(2)       Where you have a prejudicial interest in any business of your authority you may attend a meeting but only for the purpose of making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the business, provided that the public are also allowed to attend the meeting for the same purpose, whether under a statutory right or otherwise.

(2A)    Where you have a prejudicial interest in any business of your authority you may submit representations to a meeting in relation to that business, provided that the public are allowed to attend a meeting for the purpose of making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the business, whether under a statutory right or otherwise.

(2B)     When submitting written representations under sub-paragraph (2A) you must comply with any procedure that your authority may adopt for the submission of such representation.

(3)       Sub-paragraph (1) does not prevent you attending and participating in a meeting if —

(a)   you are required to attend a meeting of an overview or scrutiny committee, by such committee exercising its statutory powers; or

(b)   you have the benefit of a dispensation provided that you —

(i)            state at the meeting that you are relying on the dispensation; and

(ii)          before or immediately after the close of the meeting give written notification to your authority containing —

(aa)   details of the prejudicial interest;

(bb)   details of the business to which the prejudicial interest relates;

(cc)    details of, and the date on which, the dispensation was granted; and

(dd)   your signature.

(4)       Where you have a prejudicial interest and are making written or oral representations to your authority in reliance upon a dispensation, you must provide details of the dispensation within any such written or oral representation and, in the latter case, provide written notification to your authority within 14 days of making the representation.

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