Staff asked about interests

COUNCIL staff will be asked to supply details of their pecuniary interests to councillors.

On Wednesday, while councillors were debating 29 pages of “amendments to standing orders for the conduct of council and committee meetings”, CEO Andrew Brien checked and announced that councillor Les MucKan's request that council staff be asked to declare their financial interests was indeed a goer.

Mr Brien said that all Mr MucKan needed to do was to write to him and all would be revealed – within the guidelines of the Local Government Act.

Yesterday councillor David Dalgleish said he too would be writing to the CEO for the information to be released.

“Councillors have to do this so why shouldn't council staff, many of whom spend their days saying yes or no to a great many proposals?”

Meanwhile the 29-page document presented to the councillors with the idea that they adopt the amendments hit a big glitch.

Councillor Belinda McNeven got quite strident, pointing out that at least 10 items mentioned didn't make sense and “the way we're doing meetings, this is my first opportunity to do this”.

Council staff revealed some of the standing orders had “history”.

“There's no point in re-adopting them if they're being re-adopted with no sense,” Ms McNeven said.

Councillor Gerard O'Connell suggested a councillors' workshop to thrash out the necessary changes to the standing orders.

That “workshop” happened on the run after the councillors came out of their confidential business meeting and the result is the amendments still haven't been adopted but a report will be done to bring some of the standing orders out of last century into the third millennium.

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