Hearing says ex-councillor should have registered home ownership

Marina Lyle chats to SNP group leader David Stocks at last month's North Lanarkshire Council election
Marina Lyle chats to SNP group leader David Stocks at last month's North Lanarkshire Council election

The Standards Commission for Scotland has censured former Bellshill councillor Marina Lyle for a breach of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.

The hearing panel found that, while a councillor, Ms Lyle failed to include in her Register of Interests a property in New Stevenston, despite having become a part owner of it in 2012.

The property previously belonged to Uddingston and Bellshill Richard Lyle and his wife Marion who still live there.

Ms Lyle, who lost her seat in May, did not attend the hearing in Motherwell and was not represented.

The hearing panel noted that Ms Lyle had previously indicated that she did not consider she had to register an interest in the property as there continued to be a life-rent over it in favour of the previous owners.

Mr Lyle claimed last year they had consulted with North Lanarkshire Council’s legal services who told them the property didn’t need to be registered.

However, the hearing panel determined that while Ms Lyle’s interest in the property was limited until the end of the life-rent she should have registered her interest in the property.

Panel chairman Michael McCormick said: “Whilst accepting the failure to register the interest may have been based on a misunderstanding of the legal position it is a councillor’s personal responsibility to ensure they are aware of, and comply with, the provision in the Code of Conduct.”