Rotherham Politics was informed recently that a new offence had been created by the Localism Act 2011 that would prove a useful tool for those who wish to scrutinize those in the Town Hall. The new offence? Failure to register an Interest within the 28 Day deadline is now a criminal offence!
We have the confirmation in this email:
“I refer to your recent email to Jacquie Collins in relation to the Localism Act 2011.
Ms. Collins is not in the office this week and I have been asked to respond.
You are broadly correct to state that under the Localism Act a councillor’s failure to keep an up to date record of their register of interest can become a criminal offence with a fine up to £5,000 and disqualification from office for up to five years. For the exact details of the requirements and potential offences please refer to s29-34 of the Localism Act 2011.
These requirements and offences are reflected in the Council’s Code of Conduct.
I trust this deals with your query.
Contentious Team Manager
Legal and Democratic Services
So there we have it, hope all Councillors will now get this right in future as the penalties are harsh indeed! We will be keeping a very careful eye on this. Now all we need is for ‘Surcharging’ to be brought back!