Freemasons and Dorset County Council

Phil Collyer made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Dorset County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Dorset County Council,

Does the Council, including the monitoring/compliance officer hold any recorded information to show whether there are any freemasons as Councillors or staff in the council?

Does the Council hold any recorded information whether masonry is compatible or not with the Nolan principles of public life for the Council?

Could you send me the functions, job description and statutory responsibilities for monitoring/compliance officer.

Does this officer have any other titles in the council?

Has the council got a Local Code for Corporate Governance?

Are councillors and staff asked to declare their
membership of the freemasons or do any so voluntarily, and are there any minuted discussions of whether freemasonry should be declared have ever taken place?

Yours faithfully,

Phil Collyer

Freedom of Information, Dorset County Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
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Mair, Jonathan E., Dorset County Council

Thank you for your email of 1 October.  In answer to your request:

 

1.        

 

From Jonathan Mair

Head of Legal & Democratic Services, Dorset County Council and

Clerk to the Dorset Fire Authority

01305224181

 

Service of court documents is not accepted by email

 

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain
information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be
handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to
receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it
to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard
the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be
aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in
accordance with relevant legislation."

Mair, Jonathan E., Dorset County Council

Mair, Jonathan E. would like to recall the message, "Freedom of Information Request - Freemasons and Dorset County Council".
"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation."

Mair, Jonathan E., Dorset County Council

1 Atodiad

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    Appendix Head of Legal Democratic Services Duties and Responsibiliti....doc

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Dear Mr Collyer

 

Thank you for your email 1 October.  In answer to your request:

 

1.       Does the Council, including the monitoring/compliance officer
hold any recorded information to show whether there are any freemasons as
Councillors or staff in the council?

 

Answer - the Localism Act and the County Council's own code of conduct
require councillors to disclose their "disclosable pecuniary interests" in
a register kept by me.  Register entries are published on the County
Council's website dorsetforyou.com.  A colleague has checked the register
entries and no councillors have declared any interest in freemasonry.  The
County Council's staff code of conduct requires staff to declare
membership of any organisations whose membership includes rules as to
secrecy and the code gives freemasonry as an example of this.  No staff
have declared such an interest.

 

2.       Does the Council hold any recorded information whether masonry is
compatible or not with the Nolan principles of public life for the
Council?

 

Answer - aside from reference above to the staff code of conduct the
County Council holds no such recorded information.  I do recall that the
old Standards Board for England did publish some advice to monitoring
officers about freemasonry and compatibility with the old model code of
conduct for councillors which was in place prior to the Localism Act 2011.

 

3.       Could you send me the functions, job description and statutory
responsibilities for monitoring/compliance officer.

 

Answer - please see the attached job description.  The statutory
responsibilities of the monitoring officer are set out in section 5 of the
Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and additional responsibilities are
contained in the Localism Act 2011.

 

4.       Does this officer have any other titles in the council?

 

Answer - Head of Legal and Democratic Services and Clerk to the Dorset
Fire Authority

 

5.       Has the council got a Local Code for Corporate Governance?

 

Answer - the Council publishes an annual governance statement and again
this can be found on the County Council's website dorsetforyou.com.

 

6.       Are councillors and staff asked to declare their membership of
the freemasons or do any do voluntarily, and are there any minuted
discussions of whether freemasonry should be declared have ever taken
place?

 

Answer - Please see my answer to question 1, above.  I am not aware of
freemasonry having been discussed in council meetings.  If this had been
discussed then the discussion would have taken place at the Council's
Standards and Governance Committee which I attend and I would have been
aware.

 

I hope that this information is of assistance to you.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jonathan Mair

 

 

From Jonathan Mair

Head of Legal & Democratic Services, Dorset County Council and

Clerk to the Dorset Fire Authority

01305224181

 

Service of court documents is not accepted by email

 

"This e-mail is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain
information about individuals or other sensitive information and should be
handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to
receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it
to anyone else. If you have received this email in error, kindly disregard
the content of the message and notify the sender immediately. Please be
aware that all email may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in
accordance with relevant legislation."