Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Standards Hearing Sub-Committee - Thursday 16 November 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Kennet Room - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Kieran Elliott  Email:

No. Item


Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for this meeting only


Nominations for a Chairman of the Standards Sub-Committee were sought and it was




To elect Councillor Derek Walters as Chairman for this meeting only.



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee or Monitoring Officer.



There were no Declarations of Interest.


Meeting Procedure

To note the procedure for the meeting as included in Protocol 11 of the Constitution - Arrangements for dealing with Code of Conduct complaints, in particular Paragraph 8.


Supporting documents:


The procedure listed within the agenda papers was noted.


Introductions of all those present were made.


Exclusion of the Press and Public

To consider passing the following resolution:


To agree that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public from the meeting for the business specified in Item Number 5 because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in  Paragraph 1 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.



After seeking views from the Investigating Officer, Subject Member, and Monitoring Officer in accordance with procedure, the Sub-Committee did not resolve to move into Part II private session forthe conducting of the Hearing.


Determination of a Code of Complaint COC144873 in respect of Councillor G. Peacock, Redlynch Parish Council

To receive a report from the Monitoring Officer.


The Hearing was in relation to complaint COC144873 made by Mr Nicholas Morgan (The Complainant) regarding the alleged conduct of Councillor Gary Peacock, of Redlynch Parish Council (The Subject Member).


The Sub-Committee had received prior notification from both the Complainant and the Subject Member that they would not be attending the Hearing in person.


Investigating Officer Representations

The Investigating Officer, Lisa Hayward, presented their Report and confirmed that no witnesses would be called.  In accordance with the procedure the Sub-Committee were invited to ask questions of the Investigating Officer to assist with their assessment of the complaint.


It was alleged that on 7 March 2023, the Subject Member attended the Complainant’s property to cut back a hedge and reposition a street name sign. This was after visiting the complainant two months previously and allegedly introducing himself as a parish councillor and asking permission to cut back the hedge for the purpose of exposing a drain cover to assist flood prevention on behalf of Redlynch Parish Council.


In doing so it was alleged that the Subject Member breached the following sections of the Redlynch Parish Council Code of Conduct:


Paragraph 5.1         I do not bring my role or local authority into disrepute.


Complainant Statement

In accordance with the procedure the Sub-Committee received a written statement from the Complainant in support of their complaint.


Questioning of Investigating Officer

The Sub-Committee then had the opportunity to ask questions of the Investigating Officer, supported by the Independent Person.


Clarification was sought from the Investigating Officer on the detail of the black and white photograph / letterhead mentioned by the complainant. The Investigating Officer confirmed that she had not requested further details on this during the investigation, however the document was said to have been a standard letter produced by the Parish Council, which could be sent to residents when there were situations where there were obstructions of hedges etc.


The Sub-Committee asked for clarification on the nature of the alleged trespass, noting the location of the hedge in Chapel Lane where the Subject Member was also a resident. It was confirmed that Chapel Lane was not an adopted road. The Sub-Committee was advised that the crux of the complaint related to whether there was an element of deceit to the actions, and if so, what impact that had on the individual.  


The Sub-Committee noted the explanation in the Code of Conduct on when the code applied. 

The Sub-Committee also queried the reason for the Complainant not accepting the offer of an apology and restitution.


Subject Member Representations

In accordance with the procedure the Sub-Committee received a written statement from the Subject Member as evidence and to make representations as to why they consider that they did not fail to comply with the Code of Conduct.


Questioning of the Subject Member

No questions could be asked as the Subject Member was not in attendance.


Concluding Statements

The Investigating Officer made a concluding statement, in which they highlighted their findings as detailed above.


The Subject Member  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.