Aldermanic Qualifications – Checks
The Court of Aldermen considered a recommendation of the General Purposes Committee of Aldermen relative to the introduction of checks in relation to Aldermanic qualifications.
It was recommended that the Court introduce a procedure based on the extant power of the Court of Aldermen post-election to examine and determine whether or not any person returned as Alderman Elect is a fit and proper person and qualified for the office. The procedure proposed relies on the use of a statutory declaration that an AldermanElect is qualified for office. A declaration is required in respect of each qualification (with the exception of “not being an Alderman in another Ward” which is obviously known to the Court of Aldermen).
The procedure is designed to be effective, yet simple, proportionate and cost effective in terms of administration and minimises the processing of personal data. A statutory declaration is a declaration as to the truth of the facts and matters contained therein and made in accordance with the Statutory Declarations Act 1835. It is commonly used where relevant documents are not readily available.
Knowingly and wilfully making a statutory declaration that is false in a material particular is a serious criminal offence under s.5 of the Perjury Act 1911, carrying a sentence of up to 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine on conviction. A refusal to provide a statutory declaration as to qualification would be a reasonable ground for refusing to admit an Alderman Elect.
Resolved Unanimously: - That the Court of Aldermen adopt this new procedure with immediate effect to provide assurance that successful candidates satisfy the qualification requirements and instruct that appropriate amendments be made to the Corporation’s Elections guidance and the Wardmote Book to reflect this.