Declarations of Interest

This note briefly summarises the position on interests which you must declare at the meeting. Please refer to the Members’ Code of Conduct in Section DD of the Constitution for a fuller description.

The duty to declare …

You must always declare any "personal interest" in a matter under consideration, ie where the matter affects (either positively or negatively):

  1. any of the financial and other interests which you are required to notify for inclusion in the statutory Register of Members’ Interests; or

  2. your own well-being or financial position or that of any relative or friend more than it would affect other people in the County.

Whose interests are included …

"Relative" in (ii) above includes spouses and partners and other relatives’ spouses and partners, and extends to the employment and investment interests of relatives and friends and their involvement in other bodies of various descriptions. For a full list of what "relative" covers, please see the Code of Conduct.

When and what to declare …

The best time to make any declaration is under the agenda item "Declarations of Interest". Under the Code you must declare not later than at the start of the item concerned or (if different) as soon as the interest "becomes apparent".

In making a declaration you must state the nature of the interest.

Taking part if you have an interest …

Having made a declaration you may still take part in the debate and vote on the matter unless your personal interest is also a "prejudicial" interest.

"Prejudicial" interests …

A prejudicial interest is one which a member of the public knowing the relevant facts would think so significant as to be likely to affect your judgment of the public interest.

What to do if your interest is prejudicial …

If you have a prejudicial interest in a matter under consideration, you must leave the room for the duration of the discussion and voting on it and you must not try to influence the decision.

Exceptions …

There are a few circumstances where you may regard yourself as not having a prejudicial interest or may participate even though you may have one. These, together with other rules about participation in the case of a prejudicial interest, are set out in paragraphs 10 – 12 of the Code.

Seeking Advice …

It is your responsibility to decide whether any of these provisions apply to you in particular circumstances, but you may wish to seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer before the meeting.