Report of the Town Clerk
The Sub Committee considered a report of the Town Clerk concerning two applications for a dispensation, the decisions on which are set out below.
Deputy John Tomlinson
The Sub-Committee granted a dispensation until the Ward elections in March 2021:
· to speak and vote on the setting of council tax*
· to speak as a member of the public on planning applications*
· to speak as a member of the public on licensing applications*
· to speak on general housing matters (including car parking spaces and private storage spaces)*
· to speak on fire safety matters affecting the Barbican Estate post Grenfell including those relating specifically to the Towers.
*In accordance with paragraph 17 of the Dispensations Policy
The Sub Committee noted that matters 1-4 above could be granted by the Town Clerk under delegated authority and were only coming to Members for decision because of the request to speak on fire safety issues. Members were satisfied on all points that the granting of a dispensation was in the interests of persons living in the authority’s area and in accordance with the published policy.
The Sub Committee granted a dispensation until the proposed rescheduled Ward elections in March 2022 to speak (but not vote) on fire safety in general and specifically on fire safety improvement works at Frobisher Crescent.
The Sub Committee was satisfied that the granting of a dispensation to speak was in the interests of persons living in the authority’s area and in accordance with the published policy. However, Members considered that Mr Bostock would in any case be prevented from voting where his disclosable pecuniary interest was engaged by the application of section 618 of the Housing Act 1985 and Standing Order 44(2). It could not therefore be established that the granting of a dispensation to vote would be in the interests of persons living in the authority’s area or otherwise appropriate under the statutory grounds.
Members agreed that the somewhat unsatisfactory situation provided another example to support an approach to repeal section 618 of the Housing Act 1985.