Independent Ripon councillors defend failure to declare ‘dormant’ company

Ripon Town Hall. 100729AR1pic4.
Ripon Town Hall. 100729AR1pic4.

Ripon City Councillor Andrew Williams says he did not declare his company on his register of interests as it was a ‘dormant company’.

Foss Islands Media, the company which Coun Williams is a director of, was registered to the Mayor of Ripon’s address until two weeks ago.

Despite the company’s registered address changing to a property belonging to Coun Williams, residents questioned why neither councillor had declared an interest in the company.

Coun Williams said: “In September 2014 a friend and I, not Coun McHardy, trialled a business model and we set up Foss Islands Media. 

“We produced a handful of demonstration videos and realised very quickly that the business model would not be financially viable.

“Foss Islands Media has never traded, it has never held a bank account and consequently as it has nil value and was a dormant company not trading, it was not declared on my register of interests following my reelection to the city council in May of this year.”

Coun Pauline McHardy said: “I have not failed to register a declaration of interest in the business called Foss Islands Media for the simple reason that I have no interest to declare.

“If anyone wishes to pursue this further with Standards feel free to do so.”

Harrogate Borough Council explained it was a member’s responsibility to declare a register of interest.

A spokesperson said: “Should the council receive a complaint concerning a member’s expressions of interest, we would investigate to see if a breach of regulation or code of conduct issue has occurred.”