On today's BFP letter page there is the not-so-rare treat of a letter from one of my electors, Sir Reginald Harland, criticising the legal advice given to councillors in connection with the recent ASDA planning meeting.
He confuses the issue by extending advice given to those voting in a quasi-judicial committee (on a planning application) to all members in all situations. He even suggests that those town/borough councillors who had an interest in the Manor House vote (inter alia because they had tried to acquire it) were only barred from the borough council vote because they had merely expressed a view.
The advice is clear: you can't vote on a planning or licensing issue if you appear to be biased or have predetermined views before the meeting. Nor can you vote on any matter if you have a prejudicial interest. But that doesn't mean that councillors can't speak out or vote on their manifesto commitments or indeed in general.
Come on Sir Reggie - you're having a laugh!