The Localism Act 2011 provides for the disclosure by Members and co-opted Members of various interests, both non-pecuniary and pecuniary. The interests of a Member’s spouse, partner or civil partner are deemed to be interests of the Member himself or herself. Failures to register a disclosable Interest or to declare at any relevant meetings are criminal offences; as is participation in proceedings if it would be prohibited by proper disclosure. Such breaches are also breaches of the Council’s Code of Members’ Conduct.
Councillors are also required to ask themselves the questions:
Am I biased or have I predetermined a matter?
Would an informed member of the public think that there is a real possibility that the Councillor could be biased?
Have I made up my mind about the issue?
Councillors should not make up their mind about an issue before coming to take a decision on it. They can still form a provisional view but must be willing to consider all arguments presented at the meeting and remain genuinely open to persuasion on the merits of the case. If they do not have a genuinely open mind about a matter, this will potentially leave the decision susceptible to legal challenge because of the common law concept of predetermination.
Kingston Parish Council members’ completed Register of Interest records will be updated whenever any addition or amendments are made.