Councillor Spencer Flower charged with failure to inform Councils of interests in companies

17/11/2014

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Wessex has authorised Dorset Police to institute proceedings against Dorset County Council Leader, Spencer Flower, 72, with three offences under section 31 and 34 of the Localism Act 2011.

This Act imposes a duty on members of a local authority to disclose certain pecuniary interests on taking office and to refrain from participating in council business which will affect these interests unless dispensation is given. These offences relate to Councillor Flowers involvement with the East Dorset District Council and the Dorset County Council.

John Locke,  Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS Wessex Complex Casework Unit, said: "I have authorised Dorset Police to institute proceedings against Councillor Spencer Flower for three offences under  sections 31 and 34 of the Localism Act 2011, which imposes a duty on members of a local authority to disclose certain pecuniary interests on taking office and to refrain from participating in council business, which will affect these interests unless dispensation is given.

"It is alleged that whilst Cllr Flower was leader of East Dorset District Council, he failed to declare his interest in Zebra Property Solutions LTD (ZPSL), a company for which he was a Non-Executive Director. It is also alleged that he failed to declare his interest in the same company to Dorset County Council.

"The third allegation relates to Cllr Flower failing to disclose his interest in Synergy Housing Ltd (SHL), a company in which he was also a Non-Executive Director, before a meeting of Dorset County Council on 25 February 2013 at which its Core Strategy for the provision of social housing was discussed. It is alleged that Cllr Flower participated and voted during this meeting.

"I carefully reviewed all the evidence provided to me by Dorset Police and was satisfied that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Cllr Flower for these three offences.

"Cllr Flower has been asked to attend Bournemouth Magistrates' Court on 2 December 2014.

"Proceedings are now ongoing and the defendant has the right to a fair trial. It is very important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."