Council leader agrees to receive training after failing to declare interest (From Bromsgrove Advertiser)
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Council leader agrees to receive training after failing to declare interest
THE leader of Bromsgrove District Council has agreed to carry out training after failing to declare an interest at a parish council meeting.
A complaint was made about district councillor for the Furlongs ward, Margaret Sherrey, which was considered by the authority's monitoring officer.
The complaint made was in relation to a Clent Parish Council meeting, held in February 2013, in which it was unanimously resolved to make a donation of £200 to Bromsgrove Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
But during the meeting Cllr Sherrey, a parish councillor on the authority, failed to declare she was a trustee of the CAB.
A complaint was upheld by monitoring officer Claire Felton, who recommended that training on interests and declaration of interests should be given to Cllr Sherrey.
The incident happened before Cllr Sherrey was elected leader of Bromsgrove District Council in May, after previous leader Councillor Roger Hollingworth stepped down.
Cllr Sherrey told the Advertiser that there had been no personal gain in failing to declare the interest, stressed she always declares interests, and she had since stepped down from the CAB board.
"The minutes of the meeting did not show that I had declared that I am a board member on the CAB," she said.
"I normally would declare this interest, that I have held for many years - and that does not necessary prevent me from remaining in the room.
"But I could not recall whether I did at this specific meeting, some time ago.
"As a result, and after deciding that there was no prejudice suffered by any party, the monitoring officer recommended refresher training on declaring interests - which I am happy to do."
Members of the council are required to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in business being considered before discussion of that item begins.
Declaration of interests at meetings are intended to give public confidence in a council’s decision making.