|Place:||Marsden Theatre, Worden Arts and Crafts Centre, Worden Park, Leyland, PR25 1DJ|
|Present:||Independent Members Mr S Ellison and Mr J Holt
Borough Councillors Mr J E J Breakell, Mr P A Foster, Mr F Heyworth, Mr J W M Otter, Mr K W Palmer
Parish Councillors Mrs M Gelder and Mr R Mitchell
|In attendance:||David Whelan (Legal Services Manager) and Dave Lee (Democratic Services Officer).|
Other Members: Councillor Best
Appointment of Chairman for the Meeting
In the absence of the Independent Chairman (Russell Atkinson), the Legal Services Manager invited nominations for the chairman for the meeting.
RESOLVED (UANIMOUS): that John Holt be appointed chairman for the meeting.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were submitted on behalf of Russell Atkinson (Independent Chairman), Parish Councillor Mrs Houghton and Councillor Mrs Robinson.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes of the Last Meeting
RESOLVED (UANIMOUS): that the minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on 3 June 2010 be approved as a correct record and signed by the chairman.
Request for Dispensation from Members of Penwortham Town Council
Request for Dispensation attached
The Legal Services Manager introduced the report outlining applications from a number of dual-hatted town and borough councillors for a dispensation to enable them to take part and vote on any consideration of possible financial contribution to works to be undertaken at Priory Sports & Technology College and Penwortham Leisure Centre.
The Legal Services Manager emphasised that the purpose of the Standards Committee meeting was to consider the requests for dispensation and not the issue which would be considered at the town council meeting (the Director of Regeneration and Healthy Communities was present at the meeting to provide any background information on this matter).
During the course of the meeting, the committee noted the letter circulated to members by Penwortham Town Councillor Howarth (Town Councillor Howarth was unable to attend the meeting because he was away on holiday). The committee also noted that Councillors Stephen and Mary Robinson did not apply for dispensation.
The Legal Services Manager referred to some of the issues in the content of Town Councillor Howarth?s letter and explained that it was understood that based on what happened last year, Penwortham Town Council was not prepared to include and consider an item on this matter until all preliminary matters (including the consideration and determination of requests for dispensation) have been dealt with by the borough council. This special meeting was convened because it was felt that to consider the item at the next scheduled meeting of the Standards Committee to take place on 2 September 2010 was too close to the Penwortham Town Council meeting on 7 September 2010.
With the permission of the committee a member of the public addressed the meeting. He felt that dispensation should not be granted to Councillor Jim Hothersall because he was a member of the borough council?s Cabinet who had collective responsibilities for financial and budgetary implications for the council (nor to Councillor Mrs Jenny Hothersall as his spouse).
It was understood that Councillor Jim Hothersall was also the vice chairman of the town council?s Strategy and Finance Committee.
Referring to the requests for dispensation made last year, Borough and Town Councillor Best (in the public seating area) concurred with the member of the public and added that he and a number of other members of the town council had a prejudicial interest in this item and that, as such, if the requests had not been granted the meeting would not have been quorate. He was aware that the members concerned would not be able to speak on the matter at the town council if they did not apply for, and were not granted, dispensations. He went on and stated that due to Councillor Jim Hothersall?s role as a member of the borough council?s Cabinet and the vice chairman of the town council?s Strategy and Finance Committee dispensation should not be granted to him nor his spouse, Councillor Mrs Jenny Hothersall.
The committee noted the comments made by Councillor Best and the member of the public and was mindful of the fact that the issue could not be discussed at the town council meeting unless dispensations were granted and considered a number of possible scenarios before coming to a resolution:
? Dispensations could be granted to all of the members to enable them to debate and vote on the matter
? Dispensations could be granted to some of the members but not others, to enable them to debate and vote on the matter, depending on the perceived level of prejudice
? Dispensations could be granted to the members to allow them to make representations on the matter but not to vote
RESOLVED (8 FOR 1 ABSTAINED): that ?
1. dispensation not be granted to Councillor Jim Hothersall due to his collective responsibilities for financial and budgetary implications for the council as a Cabinet Member and his role as vice chairman on the town council?s Strategy and Finance Committee (nor to Councillor Mrs Hothersall as his spouse).
2. after careful consideration, and, mindful of the fact that without dispensations the democratically elected town council would not be able to discuss an item of its business nor make a decision thereon, dispensations be granted to Councillors Best, Mrs Blow, Mrs Buttery, Clegg, Mrs D Gardner, M Gardner, Hancock and Mrs Woollard, to allow them to take part in, and vote on, any debates relating to the issue of making a financial contribution to works to be undertaken at Priory Sports & Technology College and Penwortham Leisure Centre.
3. the dispensations granted in 2 above be valid for a period of six months from the date of this resolution (from 12 August 2010 to 12 February 2011).
|Agreed||Director of Corporate Governance, Legal Services Manager, Senior Democratic Services Officer