Agenda item

Dispensations Report - Individual Member Dispensations


The Monitoring Officer introduced the Dispensations Report and stated that the report included new requests for individual dispensations that had been submitted after the report on the matter at the last meeting of the Committee on 17th July 2023. It was noted that under section 33 (2) of the Localism Act 2011, an authority might, on a written request made to the Monitoring Officer, grant a dispensation relieving the member or co-opted member from either or both of the restrictions (relating to participation in discussion and/or voting at meetings of Council and its Committees) imposed by section 31(4) of the Localism Act in cases described in the dispensation.


The purpose of this report was for the Committee to make a decision on whether to grant dispensations that had been submitted in writing to the Monitoring Officer since the last meeting, as included in paragraph 3.8 of the report. It was noted that dispensation requests detailed in paragraph 3.6 were granted at the previous meeting of the Committee and were included for information.


It was explained that dispensations enabled Members to participate in discussion and voting in cases where it was considered appropriate to allow such requests, for example where Members had no pecuniary interest in the matter but one arising from being involved in a matter in another setting, for instance on an outside body or a sub-committee. It was highlighted that there would still be circumstances where Member granted a particular dispensation would not be able to participate as the nature of the issue discussed and interest concerned would be judged such as to preclude the Member concerned from participation.


It was reiterated that the formal granting of dispensations was required under the new legislation, and it was designed to enable Members to take part in political discussions, where deemed appropriate by the nature of the conflict of interest in question.


Prior to the vote taking place on the granting of individual dispensations, Members named in dispensations requests at paragraphs 3.6 and 3.8 of the report confirmed that they would refrain from voting on the matter. This was subsequently the case and as such there were five Members of the Audit, Standards and Governance Committee who took part in the vote on the report recommendations. On being put to the vote, it was




1)    any Individual Member Dispensations (IMDs) and Outside Body Appointments dispensations requested by Members up to the point of the meeting, and as advised by the Monitoring Officer at the meeting, be granted under section 33 (2) of the Localism Act 2011, to allow those Member(s) to participate in and vote at Council and Committee meetings in the individual circumstances detailed;


2)    it be noted that all dispensations granted by the Committee take effect on receipt of a written request from Members for such a dispensation and where Members may have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the matter under consideration, which would otherwise preclude such participation and voting; and


3)     it be noted that the dispensations referred to at resolution (1), will remain valid until the first meeting of the Audit, Standards and Governance Committeefollowing the next District Council Elections in 2027 unless amended by the Committee prior to that date.



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