All members of Great Bentley Parish Council are required by law to complete a Disclosable Pecuniary Interests form to register their financial or other interests. There are some rare circumstances where councillors may be allowed to ensure these details are not revealed to the public such as when the information could result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to the member or his/her family.
The Register gives details of any interest that might give rise to a conflict of interest in a councillor’s duties as a parish councillor.
Councillors are obliged to keep their statutory register entry up to date.
Members are also required to list the disclosable pecuniary interests of their spouse or civil partner, or the person with whom they are living as if they were spouse or civil partner.
Each councillor must make their own judgment about whether or not they must declare a personal or pecuniary and prejudicial interest on each item to be discussed at Council meetings.
Declaration of a personal interest at a meeting.
A personal interest occurs where a Councillor or a member of their family or a close associate might benefit from a Council decision to a greater extent than the majority of other people in the Parish, and the member should not vote on the matter. Where the interest is not so great as to affect the Councillor’s judgment of the public interest, the member should not vote but may speak on the matter if members of the public are also allowed to speak at the meeting.
Declaration of disclosable pecuniary interests in meetings
A pecuniary interest occurs where a Councillor could gain or lose financially as a result of a Council decision. This could relate to goods and services which might be required by the Council and includes Councillor’s partners, spouses, relatives and close associates.
If a Councillor or voting co-opted member has a disclosable pecuniary interest in an item during a formal meeting of the Council, they must:
Declare or draw attention to their interest at the meeting; Not participate in any discussion of the matter; Not vote on the matter; and Leave the room during the discussion or vote. The declarations made at each meeting are recorded in the minutes of the meeting which are published on our website.
There are some rare circumstances where councillors may seek a dispensation which would allow them to speak and/or vote at meetings if they have a personal or pecuniary interest but individual councillors must request such dispensation from the Council’s Monitoring Officer.
It is a potential criminal offence if a member fails to comply with the rules regarding their disclosable pecuniary interests without reasonable excuse.