Agenda item

Dispensation in respect of a Disclosable Personal Interest


A joint report of the Director of Legal And Governance Services and Executive Member for Legal And Governance Services was presented, the purpose of which was for the Committee to determine a request from Councillor David Coupe for a dispensation to allow him to continue to attend and participate in the Pension Fund Committee notwithstanding his Disclosable Personal Interest (DPI) arising from his appointment as a Non-Executive Director of Border to Coast Pensions Partnership Limited.


Under s31 (4) of the Localism Act 2011 an Elected Member who had a DPI in a matter under consideration was not permitted to participate in the discussion or vote on the matter unless s/he has first obtained a dispensation under s33.  Section 33 (2) included a number of situations where a dispensation could be considered, but should be granted “only if, after having regard to all relevant circumstances" the Committee considered that one of those situations applied.


Councillor David Coupe had been appointed as a Director by Border to Coast Pensions Partnership Limited (“the Company”). By way of background the Company was owned by the administering authorities of eleven local government pension funds and was established to provide collective investment across those funds.


The role was remunerated by the Company and at present directors fulfilling the “shareholder director” role were paid £15,000 per annum by the Company. This salary had been determined by the Company’s Remuneration Committee and had the approval of all of the Partner Funds in the pension pool (and the respective shareholders).


It was expected that Councillor Coupe in carrying out the role would make a time commitment which was expected to be at least three days per month, with availability for meetings, induction and training as required.   Councillor Coupe was likely to sit on Board Committees as well as the main Board and would be obliged to travel to the Company headquarters in Leeds for regular meetings.  The details of the role were outlined at paragraph 11 of the submitted report.


In order to meet the requirements of the role, the Company wished to have representation of its shareholders on its Board and requested the Joint Committee with oversight of the Company to nominate potential candidates for this role.  There were two directors nominated by the shareholder funds on two-year appointments, one of which expired each year.   It was to this role that Councillor David Coupe had been appointed.   The term of office for a shareholder director was currently under review and it looked likely that it would be increased from two to three years.


By assuming the role as a paid director Councillor David Coupe had a DPI.

Councillor David Coupe had made a request for a dispensation in order to allow him to continue to participate as a member of the Pension Fund Committee.


In order to provide clarity and certainty Leading Counsel’s advice had been sought on behalf of the Joint Committee, which oversees the Company in respect of the legality of the granting of a dispensation and what that dispensation might cover.  A copy of the advice was attached at Appendix 1 to the submitted report.


AGREED as follows:


1.  the report was received and noted.


2.  a dispensation was granted as follows:


For a period of three years (or for so long as Councillor David Coupe was a Director of the Company) whichever was the shorter, that:


(a) Councillor David Coupe should be allowed to participate, or participate further, in any discussion of any matter concerning the Company at the meetings of the Pensions Committee; and/or


(b) Participate in any vote, or further vote, taken on the matter at the said meeting(s).


PROVIDED THAT he should not participate in any discussion or vote where changes to the remuneration of Directors of the Company were discussed.

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