Or, Questions – only Dominic Beck can answer?
Rotherham Politics in previous posts (links at bottom) presented the facts about Dominic Beck’s Interests Declaration. These posts were of interest to a large number and attracted numerous comments. For actual numbers, see Notes below.
We had looked first at Beck, because his youth and reported intelligence would, we thought, have made his declaration an ideal example of the way an Interests Declaration should be completed!
We were therefore surprised and dismayed to find this not apparently the case when close scrutiny was applied. There were many supportive comments posted on Rotherham Politics, which all boiled down to one defence above all others, ‘He is young, so Rotherham Politics should cut him some slack and overlook his infractions’.
Between us we have reviewed all the relevant information regarding procedures to be followed when declaring interests and we can find, not even a nod and wink, to justify this defence argument for youth justifying dispensation, it is fallacious!
All Councillors, of whatever age, are required to register all interests within 28 days of acquisition of each new interest. Simple and straightforward you might think? We have also reported in the past, Dominic Beck’s unusual interpretation of this requirement and his spurious attempts to justify it.
Unfortunately we discovered hidden complexity, that would indicate that this Declaration is deficient as well as having been completed without the necessary degree of commitment to ‘openness and transparency’ required of him by his ‘Councillors Code of Conduct’ and his supposed adherence to ‘The Seven Principles of Public Life’, that are their underpinning.
Readers should not forget Dominic Beck took many months to update his Interests Declaration and only then, due to the dogged persistence of a Rotherham citizen. Hardly willing, was he?
What are those questions only Dominic Beck can answer?
Why did it take you so long to update your Interests Declaration?
Please specify the date you were appointed to Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber?
Please specify the date you became a Rush House Trustee?
Please specify the date you became a Rush House Director?
Please specify the dates of award of each of the Council contracts you have declared?
We would also like a response to these issues that concern your ‘Connected Person’ status and assurances that you have made all relevant declarations and withdrawals required of you?
Cllr Dominic Beck and Mr Darren Hughes have been appointed Trustees of the Rush House Charity, they are also Company Directors?
It is permissible to be both Trustees and RMBC Cllrs.
However it is much more problematic in relation to what the Charity Commission calls ‘Connected Persons’. Definition below.
‘Connected Persons’ have to declare all Prejudicial Interests at Trustees Meetings and leave the room if they have a prejudicial interest.
After reviewing Dominic Beck’s Interests Declaration, he clearly has some connection with RMBC contracts awarded to the Charity.
As these are RMBC contracts and there is therefore a connection to RMBC, he must have fully declared these Interests at both RMBC Meetings if he was involved, and similarly, at Rush House Trustee Meetings. The minutes of theses meetings should supply confirmation?
Rotherham Politics readers would be grateful for your early clarification of the points raised.
Notes: Table of Direct Hits and Comments:
‘Connected Person’ Definition:
K1. Meaning of “connected person” as set out in section 118 of the Charities Act
(1) In section 117(2) “connected person”, in relation to a charity, means any person who falls within subsection (2) –
(a) at the time of the disposition in question, or
(b) at the time of any contract for the disposition in question.
(2) The persons are –
(a) a charity trustee or trustee for the charity,
(b) a person who is the donor of any land to the charity (whether the gift was made on or after the establishment of the charity),
(c) a child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, brother or sister of any such trustee or donor,
(d) an officer, agent or employee of the charity,
(e) the spouse or civil partner of any person falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (d),
(f) a person carrying on business in partnership with any person falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (e) above,
(g) an institution which is controlled –
(i) by any person falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (f), or
(ii) by two or more such persons taken together, or
(h) a body corporate in which –
(i) any connected person falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (g) has a substantial interest, or
(ii) two or more such persons, taken together, have a substantial interest.
(3) Sections 350 to 352 (meaning of child, spouse and civil partner, controlled institution and substantial interest) apply for the purposes of subsection (2).
Section 350 to 352 of the Charities Act
Section 350 Connected person: child, spouse and civil partner
(1) In sections 118(2)(c), 188(1)(a), 200(1)(a) and 249(2)(a), “child” includes a stepchild and an illegitimate child.
(2) For the purposes of sections 118(2)(e), 188(1)(b), 200(1)(b) and 249(2)(b)
(a) a person living with another as that person’s husband or wife is to be treated as that person’s spouse;
(b) where two people of the same sex are not civil partners but live together as if they were, each of them shall be treated as the civil partner of the other.
Section 351 Connected person: controlled institution
For the purposes of sections 118(2)(g), 157(1)(a), 188(1)(d), 200(1)(d) and 249(2)(d), a person controls an institution if the person is able to secure that the affairs of the institution are conducted in accordance with the person’s wishes.
Section 352 Connected person: substantial interest in body corporate
(1) For the purposes of sections 118(2)(h), 157(1)(b), 188(1)(e), 200(1)(e) and 249(2)(e), any such connected person as is there mentioned has a substantial interest in a body corporate if the person or institution in question –
(a) is interested in shares comprised in the equity share capital of that body of a nominal value of more than one-fifth of that share capital, or
(b) is entitled to exercise, or control the exercise of, more than one-fifth of the voting power at any general meeting of that body.
(2) The rules set out in Schedule 1 to the Companies Act 2006 (rules for interpretation of certain provisions of that Act) shall apply for the purposes of subsection (1) as they apply for the purposes of section 254 of that Act (“connected persons” etc).
(3) In this section “equity share capital” and “share” have the same meaning as in that Act.
Rotherham Politics Links to recent posts:
When Rotherham Politics published the story, Dominic Beck – files new Interests Declaration, we assumed there would be little interest in this beyond a mere handful. How wrong we were, this post has been well read and commented upon, 373 400 … Continue reading →
Dominic Beck, the youngest Councillor on RMBC and now the youngest parish council chairman in the Borough, has filed a new Interests Declaration. About time I hear you say! Dominic Beck’s latest Declaration dated 4th July 2012. Dominic Beck’s previous … Continue reading →