In the interests of democracy and transparency, Councillors have to consider any personal or prejudicial interest1 they may have in any topic on the agenda in accordance with the Model Code of Conduct2 issued by the Standards Board for England. All Councillors are issued with a ‘Guide for Members’ of the Code when they accept office and every Councillor has the opportunity to attend training seminars given by the DDC Monitoring Officer. It is each Councillors responsibility to abide by the Code.
- Councillors with a personal interest must declare their interest before the topic is raised. They may take part in the discussion and vote.
- Councillors with a prejudicial interest must declare it to the meeting as soon as possible. They may speak on the topic only when the agenda allows the public to participate (i.e. agenda item 3). They must leave the room when the topic is discussed and voted upon.
Personal Interest: A non-council interest in a topic under consideration where a Councillor or a member of their family or close associate might benefit, to a greater extent than the majority of those in the parish from a Council decision but does not affect the Councillors judgement of the public interest.
Prejudicial Interest: Personal interests become prejudicial interests if a member of the public (with knowledge of the relevant facts) might think that a Councillor’s judgement of the public interest could be prejudiced i.e. the topic under consideration directly affects a Councillor (or a member of their family or a close associate) with a financial interest, or relates to a licensing or regulatory matter.
- Councillors sign a formal declaration of acceptance of office and an agreement to abide by the Model Code of Conduct adopted by the Council.
- The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007 (SI 2001/1159), parts 1 and 3