Thursday, 26 August 2010
Lock Stock... bang to rights
This means you need an address in the borough that is either your principal place of residence or employment for the preceeding 12 months from the date of nomination.
To prevent our illustrious representatives from having any shadow of doubt on their personal affairs benefitting from their time as an elected member, they are required by law to complete a "declaration of interests" and this shows any property they own, or rent, together with any company they are connected to that does business with the council.
At meetings if an item is to be discussed that is somehow connected to the building where they live, or involves the company they own or work for, the councillors are supposed to declare an interest. Best practice is for councillors to actually leave the room while these matters are under discussion, but failing that should sit there with their mouths firmly closed until the meeting moves onto the next item. A tall order no doubt for some.
It is a legal requirement that each time the content of the lodged "declaration" changes, it is to updated promptly.
Hornet was surprised therefore when flicking through the DoI of councillors to see that Cllr Shireen Ritchie seems to live nowhere. The question to list "any land in the borough which you have a beneficial interest" she says N/A. Not applicable?
This includes property you own a freehold or leasehold, or have a tenancy. In otherwords, if you live in your own home or you rent it, list it.
Hornet suspects Cllr Ritchie, whose claim to fame is landing an unsuspecting public the potential Tory candidacy of pop sensation Adam Rickett, actually does live somewhere, so wonders why she has omitted it from this legal document.
An oversight or a monumental error?
Hornet isnt actually surprised she has no address in the borough, that probably explains why she doesnt advertise her surgeries.