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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the effect of the declaration of interests requirements for people on parish councils on the number of people who serve on those councils; and if he will make a statement.
When we abolished the Standards Board regime, which had become a vehicle for vexatious, petty and politically-motivated complaints about councillors, we put in place new, local arrangements for local authority standards, including for parish and town councils. At the same time, we introduced new rules to ensure that councillors could not put their own interests ahead of those of the public. A publicly available register of certain pecuniary interests is a key part of these new rules and is a key element in maintaining public confidence in their elected representatives. These new rules are sensible and proportionate and as stated in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, we intend to undertake a policy review of the new arrangements three to five years after their policy implementation, which was in July 2012.