To consider a request for a dispensation under section 33 of the Localism Act 2011 to enable Councillor Mark Davis to continue to participate in meetings of the Area 1 Planning Committee, the Planning and Transportation Advisory Board and other meetings where the Local Plan is under consideration.
Further to Minutes GP 16/19 and GP 18/22, Members considered a request for a dispensation under section 33 of the Localism Act 2011 to enable Councillor Mark Davis to continue to participate in meetings of the Area Planning Committees, the Planning and Transportation Advisory Board and other meetings where the Local Plan was under consideration in circumstances where he would otherwise be required to declare an Other Significant Interest (by virtue of being a partner in Warners Solicitors and having a client of the firm with an interest in the matter under consideration) and leave the room having taken no part in the discussion or vote.
It was noted that Councillor Davis did not seek a dispensation to vote on any such reports but sought permission to be allowed to address the meeting, remain in the room and hear the discussions. The grounds for the original request for the dispensation were set out in Annex 1 to the report for ease of reference.
The report gave details of the circumstances and procedures in the Council’s Constitution for granting dispensations under the Localism Act and provided a review of the previously agreed dispensation. It was noted that the two current Independent Persons had been consulted on the continuation of the dispensation.
(1) dispensation be granted to allow Councillor M Davis to remain in the meetings of the Area Planning Committees, Planning and Transportation Advisory Board, Cabinet and Full Council where the Local Plan is discussed (in circumstances where he would otherwise be required to declare an Other Significant Interest) to listen to, but not participate in, the debate or vote on the matter in hand. In addition, Councillor Davis would have the right to address the meeting but would not be permitted to take part further in the discussions; and
(2) the dispensation remain in effect until the next local elections in 2023.