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Election of a Chairman
It was proposed, duly seconded and
RESOLVED – That Deputy Edward Lord be elected as Chairman for the duration of the meeting.
Questions on matter relating to the work of the Committee
The Sub Committee noted that there are a number of disclosable pecuniary interests that prevent a Member from participating in any discussion or vote on a connected item of business. The disclosable pecuniary interest that is engaged in these cases is:
(a) any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.
Members also noted that the Localism Act 2011 does not provide any additional guidance on judging whether a disclosable pecuniary interest is engaged or not and states that the prohibition on speaking or voting on a matter is engaged where a Member:
(a) is present at a meeting;
(b) has a disclosable pecuniary interest in any matter to be considered, or being considered, at the meeting; and
(c) is aware that the condition in paragraph (b) is met.
A relevant authority may, on a written request made to the proper officer of the authority by a Member of the authority, grant a dispensation relieving the Member from either or both of the restrictions on speaking or voting in cases described in the dispensation. A dispensation must specify the period for which it has effect, which may not exceed four years. The relevant criteria for a City of London dispensation are:-
(a) that without the dispensation the number of persons prohibited from participating in any particular business would be so great a proportion of the body transacting the business as to impede the transaction of the business;
(b) that granting the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the authority’s area;
(c) that it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.
It was further noted that subject to the specific statutory grounds for granting a dispensation, Members may also wish to take into account the following (non-exhaustive) additional factors:
(i) whether the nature
Report of the Town Clerk.
The Sub Committee then proceeded to consider each request including, with the agreement of the Chairman, 3 requests received after the agenda papers had been published. The Sub Committee asked that it be recorded that previous dispensations requests granted should not be considered ‘as precedent’ going forward. The Sub Committee emphasised that the default position was that a Member with a disclosable pecuniary interest in a matter could not speak or vote, and that the onus was on the Member concerned to satisfy the Sub Committee that one of the relevant grounds for granting a dispensation had been met. All requests would be considered on merit based on the information provided and with due regard to all relevant circumstances.
The Sub Committee noted that in this case all of the requests for dispensations related to the same item of business to be heard by the Barbican Residential Committee, on the charging policy for car parking and stores. The Sub Committee considered that a distinction should be made between those resident Members who actually had a car parking space or storage space at present and those that did not – with the latter being allowed to speak, but not the former. The Sub Committee also considered that, where a Member was being refused a dispensation, another Ward Member on the Barbican Residential Committee who did not have a disclosable pecuniary interest, or did have a dispensation to speak, could effectively represent the views of constituents.
Arising from the Sub Committee’s detailed consideration of the dispensation requests, and with Members having only taken account of all relevant issues in their determination including committee composition and details of the individual disclosable pecuniary interest and any comments of the Comptroller and City Solicitor, it was
RESOLVED – That the Sub Committee’s decisions on
Any other business that the Chairman considers urgent
There was no other urgent business.