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Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Online Meeting

Contact: Kieran Elliott  Email: kieran.elliott@wiltshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

8.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for this meeting only.

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

To elect Councillor Trevor Carbin as Chairman for this meeting only.

9.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

10.

Meeting Procedure and Assessment Criteria

To note the procedure and assessment criteria for the meeting.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The procedure and assessment criteria for the meeting were noted.

11.

Exclusion of the 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.

 

Paragraph 1 - information relating to an individual

 

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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 Agenda 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.

 

Paragraph 1 - information relating to an individual

 

12.

Review of the consideration of an Investigating Officer's Report: COC126112

Minutes:

Preamble

A complaint had been received from Mr and Mrs Sheen regarding the conduct of Cllr John Tighe of Upavon Parish Council. The Complainants alleged that during a telephone call on 18 October 2019 Cllr Tighe was rude and bad tempered. They also alleged that Councillor Tighe attempted to bully and intimidate them by making the comment, ‘you do not want to fall out with me you will regret it’.

 

In doing so it was alleged that Councillor Tighe had breached paragraphs 3 and 6 of the Upavon Parish Council Code of Conduct and had failed to live up to the general principles of selflessness, integrity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership required by Upavon Parish Council and the public office he holds

 

The complaint had received an initial assessment which had concluded that the alleged behaviour, if proven, could amount to a breach of the Code of Conduct. A Review-Sub-Committee had upheld that decision on 7 February 2020 and the complaint was referred to seek mediation between the parties before referring the complaint for investigation. Mediation was attempted, but was not successful.

 

Following that investigation, the Investigating Officer’s report concluded, on balance, that there had not been a breach of the Code of Conduct. In consultation with one of the council’s Independent Persons, the Monitoring Officer had then upheld the Investigating Officer’s findings and conclusion of there being no breach. The Complainants then requested a review of the Monitoring Officer’s decision to uphold the findings and conclusion of the Investigating Officer’s reports. The matter was therefore considered by a further Review Sub-Committee.

 

In reaching its decision, the Sub-Committee took into account the Investigating Officer’s report and supporting documentation, which included the original complaint, the response of the Subject Member, the initial assessment decision, the Review Sub-Committee decision other evidence provided during the investigation, comments on the report itself from both parties, the decision notice of the Monitoring Officer, and the Complainants’ request for a review of that decision. Neither party was in attendance at the meeting on 10 December 2020.

 

Report

The complaint involved a telephone conversation between the Subject Member and the Complainants regarding an ongoing dispute which became heated. The context of the discussion and stated intentions of certain comments were disputed, however there was agreement within the evidence presented by both sides of the general details of the comments, including that it was not denied that the Subject Member had made the comment ‘You do not want to fall out with me, you’ll regret it’.

 

The Investigating Officer had acknowledged that the complaint had been a difficult one to determine, considering that the Subject Member’s words could have been better chosen, but had concluded that the actions and comments had not risen to the level of a breach, taking into account the tense nature of the discussion, the explanation of the Subject Member regarding his intentions and that he had expressed regret for the situation.

 

The Monitoring Officer, after consulting an Independent Person, had determined there should  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

 

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