Council leader agrees to receive training after failing to declare interest

Margaret Sherrey

Margaret Sherrey

First published in News

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 said there had been no personal gain in failing to declare the interest.

She stressed she always declares interests, and said she had since stepped down from the CAB board.

She said: "The minutes of the meeting did not show that I had declared that I am a board member on the CAB.

"I normally would declare this interest, that I have held for many years - and that does not necessarily 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 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 process.

Clent parishioner Pete Rowbottom said: "It is vital that all councillors fully comply with the code of conduct otherwise public confidence in councillors and the working of councils is compromised. Councillor Sherrey has been a local councillor for many years and should be fully aware of what she should be declaring as interests at meetings."

Comments (5)

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1:20pm Wed 23 Jul 14

DAVID1875 says...

Councillor Sherrey has been a local councillor for many years so there is absolutely no excuse for her to fail to register her interest. Infact a month later she would have been presented with the minutes of that meeting for her to agree were a correct record, so why did she not pick up on it then? Her actions brings into disrepute both Clent Parish Council and Bromsgrove District Council as people of that parish and district will rightly start to wonder if other councillors aren't also misconducting themselves.
Councillor Sherrey has been a local councillor for many years so there is absolutely no excuse for her to fail to register her interest. Infact a month later she would have been presented with the minutes of that meeting for her to agree were a correct record, so why did she not pick up on it then? Her actions brings into disrepute both Clent Parish Council and Bromsgrove District Council as people of that parish and district will rightly start to wonder if other councillors aren't also misconducting themselves. DAVID1875
  • Score: 1

4:25pm Wed 23 Jul 14

carolynw1946 says...

I find it unbelievable, and incredible, that the leader of Bromsgrove District Council, requires a refresher course in Declaring Interest, surely all that is required is common sense.
I find it unbelievable, and incredible, that the leader of Bromsgrove District Council, requires a refresher course in Declaring Interest, surely all that is required is common sense. carolynw1946
  • Score: 2

6:52pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Sam Vimes says...

I must stress she always declares her interests. Well, except when she doesn't obviously.
I must stress she always declares her interests. Well, except when she doesn't obviously. Sam Vimes
  • Score: 2

5:55am Thu 24 Jul 14

DAVID1875 says...

Cllr Sherrey still says she cannot recall whether she did or did not register her interest at that meeting; so is she implying that the clerk has failed to record accurate minutes? And to think this woman is now as leader of Bromsgrove Council responsible for spending a budget of some £12 million! I wonder what other coucnillors think of her now, as she is dragging down the reputation of both Clent Parish Council and Bromsgrove District Council!
Cllr Sherrey still says she cannot recall whether she did or did not register her interest at that meeting; so is she implying that the clerk has failed to record accurate minutes? And to think this woman is now as leader of Bromsgrove Council responsible for spending a budget of some £12 million! I wonder what other coucnillors think of her now, as she is dragging down the reputation of both Clent Parish Council and Bromsgrove District Council! DAVID1875
  • Score: 2

12:24pm Thu 24 Jul 14

DAVID1875 says...

And at a time of supposed coucnil cut backs, one of the first things this woman did when she became Leader of Bromsgrove Council was to appoint an EXTRA member of Cabinet, a fellow Conservative, which means the tax payer has to pay an EXTRA £5000-plus in councillor allowances!
And at a time of supposed coucnil cut backs, one of the first things this woman did when she became Leader of Bromsgrove Council was to appoint an EXTRA member of Cabinet, a fellow Conservative, which means the tax payer has to pay an EXTRA £5000-plus in councillor allowances! DAVID1875
  • Score: 1

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