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Councillors (Pecuniary Interests)

Volume 976: debated on Friday 21 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what requests he has received for dispensation from pecuniary interest limitations for councillors with children at school in respect of discussions on school meals, transport and books; what replies he has given; and whether he is ready to grant dispensations to vote on these matters where substantial numbers of councillors are affected.

My Department has received this year three applications for dispensation under section 97(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 covering 18 councillors. In each case a dispensation to speak but not to vote was given. Dispensations will be given in accordance with the long-standing guidelines set down in appendix II of DOE circular 105/73. Dispensations to speak are given unless the member's interest in the matter before the council appears so immediate that it would be wrong for him to take any part; dispensation to vote is given only where:

  • (a) at least half of the council or committee concerned are disabled; or
  • (b) disabilities would otherwise upset the elected party balance in the council or committee.