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16. In this Part—
“dispensation” means such a dispensation as is mentioned in section 81(4) of the Act (disclosure and registration of members interests etc);
“mandatory provisions” means the mandatory provisions of a model code of conduct which for the time being applies to an authority;
“meeting” includes any meeting of an authority, of the executive of the authority, of any committee or sub-committee of the authority or its executive, of any joint committee or sub-committee of a joint committee, or of any area committee;
“member” means a member or co-opted member of an authority or a councillor appointed under section 16A of the Local Government Act 1972 (appointed councillors)(1).
17.—(1) The standards committee of an authority may, subject to paragraph (2) below, grant a dispensation to a member in the following circumstances—
(a)where the transaction of business of the authority would, but for the grant of any other dispensation in relation to that business, on each occasion on which the dispensation would apply, otherwise be impeded by, or as a result of, the mandatory provisions because—
(i)the number of members of the authority prohibited from voting on the business of the authority at a meeting exceeds 50% of those members that, but for the granting of any dispensations relating to that business, would otherwise be entitled to vote on that business; or
(ii)the number of members prohibited from voting on the business of the authority at a meeting would, but for the granting of any dispensations relating to that business, upset the political balance of that meeting to such an extent as to prejudice the outcome of voting in that meeting;
(b)the member has submitted to the standards committee a written request for a dispensation explaining why it is desirable; and
(c)the standards committee concludes that having regard to the matters mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) above, the written request made pursuant to sub-paragraph (b) above, and to any other relevant circumstances of the case, it is appropriate to grant the dispensation.
(2) Nothing in paragraph (1) above shall permit a dispensation to be granted—
(a)in respect of participation in business of the authority conducted more than four years after the date on which the dispensation is granted; or
(b)where the effect of the mandatory provisions from which a dispensation is sought is that—
(i)a member is prohibited from voting on a matter at a meeting of an overview and scrutiny committee of an authority relating to a decision made by any body of which that person was a member at the time the decision was taken; or
(ii)a member of the authority’s executive is prohibited from exercising functions which are the responsibility of the executive of the authority and which would otherwise be discharged by that member solely.
18. The standards committee of an authority must ensure that—
(a)the existence, duration and nature of any dispensation is recorded in writing; and
(b)such record is kept with the register of interests established and maintained under section 81(1) of the Act.
19. The Relevant Authorities (Standards Committees) (Dispensations) Regulations 2002(2) are revoked.
Explanatory Memorandum sets out a brief statement of the purpose of a Statutory Instrument and provides information about its policy objective and policy implications. They aim to make the Statutory Instrument accessible to readers who are not legally qualified and accompany any Statutory Instrument or Draft Statutory Instrument laid before Parliament from June 2004 onwards.
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