HC Deb 20 March 1962 vol 656 cc29-30W
47. Mr. Awbery

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware that elected representatives on county, borough, and urban district councils, who live in council houses, are prevented from speaking and voting on housing questions when these come before the councils, and are thereby prevented from carrying out the duties for which they have been elected; and if he will now take steps to remove this inhibition.

Mr. Rippon

It would not serve the interests or the reputation of local government to tamper with the principle that members of local authorities should neither speak nor vote on matters in which they have a pecuniary interest, whether that interest arises from tenancy of a council house or in other ways. But members who live in council houses may take full part in the many housing questions in which they have no pecuniary interest. Where such interests do arise, my right hon. Friend is always ready to consider sympathetically applications for dispensation to speak, provided that the interest is not special to the individual member. Dispensations to vote are given only in exceptional circumstances.