Agenda item

Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests or Non-Registerable Interests, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.



The Monitoring Officer reminded Members that she and the Section 151 Officer had circulated, by email on 9 February 2024, their annual joint guidance and advice on a number of matters relating to interests and voting on the annual budget and setting of Council Tax and, especially, the requirements of section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The Monitoring Officer read out the contents of that email as follows:-


“Tendring District Council has adopted the LGA Model Members’ Code of Conduct which does not include the provisions confirming Members do not have a declarable interest which relates to the function of setting the Council Tax under the Local Government Act 1992.  Therefore, to enable you to debate and vote on the budget item to set the Council Tax, this email provides all District Councillors with a dispensation under Section 33(2)(a) to (e) of the Localism Act 2011. Consequently, you will not be required to declare an interest based on the fact you live in the District and therefore have to pay Council Tax.


However, Members are importantly reminded of section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, which provides that any Member, who is in arrears by at least 2 months with their Council Tax payments cannot vote on matters concerning either the level of or administration of Council Tax.  It is important to note that this also covers Council Tax liabilities outside of the district and property which may not be your main residence.  If present at the meeting, a Member to whom this provision applies must disclose the fact and may speak on the item, but cannot vote.  Non-compliance with this section is a criminal offence.  Therefore, should this provision apply to any Member, this should be declared at the Declarations of Interest agenda item.


In 2014, the Government passed The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 making it mandatory for councils to amend their Standing Orders so as to include provisions requiring recorded votes at budget meetings.  I can confirm that the Constitution reflects this requirement and the Council’s Procedure Rules state at 19.5:


“A recorded vote is mandatory on any decision relating to the budget or Council Tax.  This includes not only on the substantive budget motions agreeing the budget and setting Council taxes, but also on any amendments proposed at the meeting.”


For other types of Interests, which need to be considered, Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPIs), Other Registerable Interests (ORIs) or Non-Registerable Interests are defined in the Code of Conduct and for DPIs & ORIs, these have been (or should have been) registered in advance, and with the exception of the Council Tax exemption for residing in the District, you should still consider if any other interests do apply.  A blanket exemption/dispensation has not been applied for all.”


Councillor Bray declared a Personal Interest in relation to Agenda Item 9 (Report of the Cabinet – A.2 – Executive’s Proposals: Housing Revenue Account Budget 2024/2025) insofar as he was a housing tenant of Tendring District Council. He informed Council that he would not take part in the Council’s consideration of this item nor the voting thereon.