Declarations of interest
Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Monitoring Officer gave the following advice about whether members of Council who are landlords or tenants in the private rented sector can participate in the debate and vote on Motion 2: Licensing Private Rented Sector Homes:.
Members’ property interests will be included in their Register of Interests, which is a matter of public record (with the exception of any sensitive interests).
The Members’ Code of Conduct states that where any matter disclosed in a councillor’s Register of Interest is being considered at a meeting, “the councillor must declare that he or she has an interest…If the councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest, after having declared it at the meeting he or she must not participate in discussion or voting on the item and must withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is discussed”. (Constitution 22.5(d))
The matter to be considered is whether the Council should in principle continue to seek government agreement to bring forward plans for a city-wide licensing scheme covering the whole private rented sector. This motion is not considering any individual properties and therefore I take the view that it is premature for members to be required to declare an interest and leave the meeting.
If and when members are asked to consider and decide upon the details of a specific scheme, this would bring into play members’ property interests in the private rented sector and each affected property owned by a member would at that stage be a disclosable pecuniary interest.
The Lord Mayor noted the advice provided but said that as he was a landlord in the city and in the interests of transparency he had requested and received a dispensation from the Monitoring Officer to allow him to chair the debate but abstain from the vote.
Agenda item 8: During the debate on this item reference was made to the Jericho boatyard and Jericho Community Centre capital project. At that point Councillors Brown and Hollingsworth each declared a financial interest which they considered to be prejudicial and left the chamber until the conclusion of the discussion on that particular topic.
Councillor Turner arrived during this item.
Publication date: 03/02/2020
Date of decision: 27/01/2020
Decided at meeting: 27/01/2020 - Council