Outside roles for councillors

Banff and Buchan councillors were nominated for outside roles at the Banff and Buchan Area Committee this
week.

Councillors from Banff, Troup and Fraserburgh were given the opportunity to nominate one another for roles on outside groups from the committee itself, such as joining the Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners in a decision making capacity or the Fraserburgh and district Community Safety Group in an advisory role.

In total, 13 positions on outside bodies were available for councillors to be nominated for.

The report, prepared by corporate services, told councillors: “Where a councillor takes on a role as a decision-maker for an Outside Body, the councillor becomes a member of that organisation (which is separate from his role as a councillor), can make decisions on behalf of the organisation and carries liability for those decisions. Where the role taken on is one of advisor/observer, the councillor does not become a member of the outside body and simply observes proceedings or provides advice on what the Council’s position is on a particular issue. Members should be aware that when they take on an advisory/observational role, they must be careful to limit their remit accordingly and not inadvertently influence policy or management decisions of the Outside Body, otherwise they may be treated as decision makers for the organisation and thereby take on liability for the decisions made.

“The Head of Legal and Governance will ensure that as far as possible preliminary checks are carried out to ensure the governance and insurance details provided in the criteria form from each Outside Body are correct. Understandably there are limitations on the extent to which this can be done, particularly where insufficient or no information is being provided by the Outside Body and also generally speaking on any on-going basis. Going ahead, it will be for each councillor to check compliance throughout their term of involvement with the body. It should be noted that there are Outside Bodies requesting decision-making nominations which do not have appropriate insurance.”

The report added that there are no staffing or financial implications arising as a result of the report, but there are “significant staffing resources being applied to the Confident Governance Project from across the Council in particular from within Legal and Governance.”

As a result of the report, Banff and district Community Safety group saw Councillor Ian Gray join in an advisory capacity and Fraserburgh and district Community Safety Group saw Councillor Hamish Partridge join in an advisory
capacity.

Meanwhile, councillors joining in a decision making capacity for outside bodies include Councillor Brian Topping who will join the Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners and councillors Gray, Partridge and Michael Roy who will join the Banffshire Educational Trust.

County of Banff Bursary Fund, which requested seven councillors to join in a decision making capacity, was deferred by councillors at Tuesday’s meeting.