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Monday, 13 December 2010

Interesting declarations

Getting elected to council its not all about painting a rat blue and getting people to vote for it, or red, or yellow, depending which ward you consider.

Oh no, getting elected is just part of it, once in there is the committees and meetings, and of course surgeries and dealing with the electorate. Wait, the lot we have here in K&C dont really do that, I mean, hold regular surgeries? Meet the hoi-polloi? Perish the thought!

Fortunately, however, there is a little thing called The Local Government Act 2000 (LGA2000) that sets out stuff the councillors are required to do, by law, and one of these is to state places of residence, property that is owned or rented and businesses they are connected to within the borough. Their declaration of interests has to be completed and submitted to the council on election, and if any detail changes it must updated within 28 days of that change coming into effect. All in the name of transparency.

This council prides itself on transparency ahem.

Now that got Hornet kind of wondering.......

Lets take a look at one of the councillors declaration of interests, Cllr Matthew Roundell Palmer. He lists the Conservative Party of paying his election expenses, thats fine. He has an address that he either rents or owns in the borough, nothing wrong with that either.

But then he lists a private investment under Now Hornet had a gander at this site, and can see as well as a limited amount of pregnancy information you can also find information about breast implants, dating older women, human growth hormones, and interracial dating amongst others.

The owner of the site listed under is a company called Namepanther an Oregon based technology company, who may or may not be connected to Cllr Palmer.

It may well be Cllr Palmer has disposed of this domain sometime ago and is not connected with the rather distasteful content it now displays - in which case why does his Declaration of Interests still say he invests in the site? Perhaps even Cllr Palmer has updated his interests and the webmaster of RBKC hasnt bothered to make them available online (the age old kop-out excuse) time will tell.

Oh, and a warning to all the other councillors whose online declarations haven't been updated, you are too late. A member of a local resident group (who has been asked not to be named) has already downloaded them all, and sent a copy of their complaint to the Information Commissioner and Secretary of State to Hornet!

Hornet will be keeping a close eye and looks forward comparing any "new ones" with the old ones currently on file.


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