QUESTIONS have emerged over whether forms used to declare councillors’ interests are being completed and maintained properly.

All councillors are required by law to register their business and personal interests to prove they do not conflict with their work as elected representatives.

Forms, which are stored at the town hall as hard copies and also available online, must be kept up to date under the Local Government Act.

But many Waltham Forest councillors’ paperwork has not been completed for a number of years and some are incomplete or invalid.

A few have not been signed or dated, while 41 of 60 councillors declare they did not receive any help to pay election expenses.

Some elected members do not even register their membership of a political party.

Councillors are not required to update their forms annually, but must include any changes in circumstances.

Three councillors – Elizabeth Davies, Naheed Qureshi and Jenny Gray – have not registered any changes since 2006.

And council leader Chris Robbins states he does not own a property.

Concerned residents Nick Tiratsoo, of Odessa Road in Leytonstone and Trevor Calver, of Larkshall Road, Highams Park, checked both hard and digital copies of the interests forms as part of their research.

They have now written to the council’s monitoring officer, Daniel Fenwick, seeking assurances that proper proceedure is being followed.

A council spokesman confirmed that members had been asked to ensure their current information was correct.

He added: “It is true that the way that councillors’ declarations of interests are presented on the council website is currently a little confusing, as the information can be found in more than one place.

“The council is creating a new website which will be easier to use, with less duplicated information.”

Mr Tiratsoo said: “The council is attempting to suggest that this is a presentational problem, something to do solely with its website. It is not.

“Our research is based upon the paper register, the one required by law.

“What we found when we looked at this was surprising. If, for example, councillors of known political affiliation don't declare membership of any party, that obviously raises issues as to why not, especially as the guidance document provided to them is crystal clear.

“And that some of the forms are unsigned and undated surely beggars belief.

“Why on earth did the monitoring officer accept them?

“None of this is a hanging matter, but the council does have a statutory duty to maintain a correct and up-to-date register; the forms are important because they allow the public to gauge conflicts of interest; and it is a fact that other councils seem to take their responsibilities for this matter a good deal more seriously.”