Sunday, 5 December 2010

Councillor Register of Interests - Tories play fast and loose with the rules

Barnet Council Tories have shown a terrible arrogance towards the electorate who pay their wages. Not only have six of them refused to allow their details to be put online, evidence now reaches us that some of those that have, have been less than frank in their disclosure. Why is this important? Well this week the Barnet Eye detailed how Councillor Hugh Rayner had objected "On behalf of a neighbour"  against a planning application. On inspection of his register of interests, it was revealed that Hugh Rayner was himself a neighbour. Had he declared a prejudicial interest? Well if he had, it wasn't documented in the planning details.

The chair of the committee who will decide is Councillor Maureen Braun, who has herself played fast and loose with planning rules. A regular reader forwarded me some rather disturbing information regarding her disclosure (full details of all councillors disclosures are here -

Anyway, if you look at Braun's disclosure, she's signed the following declaration :-
As you can see she has signed that she agrees that she's broken the rules if she fails to disclose items which are required. Jeff Lustig, Borough Solicitor has countersigned it. This means he's responsible for making sure the details are correct.

In the section about property she completed it as follows:-
A Barnet Eye reader forwarded me the following document from the Land registry :-

Now one would expect the chair of the planning committee to know if she owns a house. Why on earth would she choose to withold disclosure? Whilst I doubt that there is any issue with this, it is a breach of the code.  Jeff Lustig must seek to get this rectified. ASAP and give naughty Maureen a slap on the wrists as an example to her colleagues. I would suggest that Lustig write to all councillors and use this as an example. My suggestion is that Braun be sacked as the chair of the planning committtee. If she can't get this level of paperwork right, she clearly isn't up to the job.


baarnett said...

An aside: The "Not the Barnet Times" blog has awoken, to "Kick a Kouncillor" - and support the students!

Broadway Blogger said...

Surely stating NONE when a property is clearly owned is a sackable or even criminal offence ?

This is a very very important story and I believe they should answer the allegation that they have misled the public.

Moaneybat said...

Hugh Rayner should consult Brian Salinger that other property man and what the the Ombudsman had to say about his conduct, all those years ago unless of course he has already done so,The LGO's Report is not difficult to obtain

Jaybird said...

Another couple of referrals to the Standards Committee?

Don't Call Me Dave said...


You don’t seem to understand. Rules are for us, the great unwashed, to obey. They don’t apply to councillors or MPs.

Duncan Macdonald said...

Another interesting fact to check on the declerations is how many of the High Barnet Cllrs apparently are not members of any political party.