IS LEADING WHO - Councillor Robert Standley is still the Leader of
this Council. How is that possible in a democracy? The Representation of
the People and Local Government Acts have this to say about pecuniary
interests and banning from standing at local elections:
of the People Act 1983 - 1983 CHAPTER 2
Section - 159 Candidate reported guilty of corrupt or illegal practice
(1) If a candidate who has been elected is reported by an election court
personally guilty or guilty by his agents of any corrupt or illegal
practice his election shall be void.
(2) A candidate at a parliamentary election shall also be incapable from
the date of the report of being elected to and sitting in the House of
Commons for the constituency for which the election was held or any
constituency which includes the whole or any part of the area of the
first-mentioned constituency as constituted for the purposes of the
(a) if reported personally guilty of a corrupt practice, for ten years;
(b) if reported guilty by his agents of a corrupt practice or personally
guilty of an illegal practice, for seven years;
(c) if reported guilty by his agents of an illegal practice, during the
Parliament for which the election was held.
(3) A candidate at an election under the local government Act shall also
be incapable from the date of the report of holding any corporate office
in the local government area for which the election was held, or in any
local government area which includes the whole or any part of the area
of the first-mentioned local government area as constituted for the
purposes of the election, or, if the election was in Scotland, of
holding any corporate office in Scotland—
(a) if reported personally guilty of a corrupt practice, for ten years,
(b) if reported guilty by his agents of a corrupt practice, for three
(c) if reported personally guilty or guilty by his agents of an illegal
practice, during the period for which the candidate was elected to serve
or for which if elected he might have served,
and if at the date of the report he holds any such corporate office,
then the office shall be vacated as from that date. In this subsection
" corporate office " in England and Wales means the office of
chairman, mayor or councillor of a county, London borough, district or
parish or community council or of chairman of a parish or community
meeting; and in Scotland the office of councillor of any local
(4) The provisions of this section as to the consequences of the report
that a candidate was guilty by his agents of a corrupt or illegal
practice have effect subject to the express provisions of this Act
relating to particular acts which are declared to be corrupt or illegal
Local Government Act 1972 -
94 Disability of members of authorities for voting on account of
interest in contracts, etc.
(1) Subject to the provisions of section 97 below, if a member of a
local authority has any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in any
contract, proposed contract or other matter, and is present at a meeting
of the local authority at which the contract or other matter is the
subject of consideration, he shall at the meeting and as soon as
practicable after its commencement disclose the fact and shall not take
part in the consideration or discussion of the contract or other matter
or vote on any question with respect to it.
(2) If any person fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (1)
above he shall for each offence be liable on summary conviction to a
fine not exceeding [F1level 4 on the standard scale] unless he proves
that he did not know that the contract, proposed contract or other
matter in which he had a pecuniary interest was the subject of
consideration at that meeting.
(3) A prosecution for an offence under this section shall not be
instituted except by or on behalf of the Director of Public
(4) A local authority may by standing orders provide for the exclusion
of a member of the authority from a meeting of the authority while any
contract, proposed contract or other matter in which he has a pecuniary
interest, direct or indirect, is under consideration.
95 Pecuniary interests for purposes of section 94.
(1) For the purposes of section 94 above a person shall be treated,
subject to the following provisions of this section and to section 97
below, as having indirectly a pecuniary interest in a contract, proposed
contract or other matter, if —
(a) he or any nominee of his is a member of a company or other body with
which the contract was made or is proposed to be made or which has a
direct pecuniary interest in the other matter under consideration; or
(b) he is a partner, or is in the employment, of a person with whom the
contract was made or is proposed to be made or who has a direct
pecuniary interest in the other matter under consideration.
(2) Subsection (1) above does not apply to membership of or employment
under any public body, and a member of a company or other body shall not
by reason only of his membership be treated as having an interest in any
contract, proposed contract or other matter if he has no beneficial
interest in any securities of that company or other body.
(3) In the case of married persons living together the interest of one
spouse shall, if known to the other, be deemed for the purpose of
section 94 above to be also an interest of the other.
[F1(4) In the case of civil partners living together the interest of one
civil partner, shall, if known to the other, be deemed for the purpose
of section 94 above to be also an interest of the other.]
- That appears to disqualify a large number of our members from voting,
but will the voting stop? We doubt it. Members should be in no doubt
that they should leave the chamber when an item they have an interest in
is next on the Agenda.
there is ever an investigation into Wealden's members, the above statute
is sure to come into play. We look forward to that day, asserting that
the rules of office should be changed to bar any person from serving
more than two consecutive terms as a member in any council. That way
councils might get a fresh charge of energy from younger people with a
younger outlook that is more in touch with the reality of starting out
in life with very little. Most young people will know that there is a
serious lack of affordable housing in Sussex.
This has everything to do with officers doing what they can to preserve
the status quo and the members backing them up to hang onto their seats.