Venue: The Paralympic Room - AVDC. View directions
Contact: Bill Ashton 01296 585040
Election of Chairman for the Meeting
That Councillor Mordue be elected Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the meeting.
Complaint against two Slapton Parish Councillors
To consider the conclusions of the external investigating officer.
Contact officer: Ifty Ali 01296 585032
Firstly, the Sub-Committee determined that in the interests of transparency, the hearing should be held in open session.
The Sub-Committee received the reports of the independent investigator appointed by the Monitoring Officer to consider complaints made by Mr T and Mrs P Skillings and Mrs M Godsland concerning alleged breaches of Slapton Parish Council’s Code of Conduct and the provisions of the Localism Act by Parish Councillors A Dugard and D Wright. Copies of the independent investigator’s reports, excluding the appendices, which can be obtained on request to the Council’s Monitoring Officer, redacted as appropriate, are attached to these Minutes.
Parish Councillors Dugard and Wright were present and had been sent a full copy of the independent investigator’s reports. The complainants were not present at the meeting. In view of the fact that the interrelationship of the complaints against the two Councillors, they were dealt with together.
In the case of Parish Councillor Dugard the complaints related to his failure to provide a properly completed Register of Interests form within the statutory timescale, failure to declare interests at specified meetings of the Parish Council when his own planning applications were under consideration and bullying.
In the case of Parish Councillor Wright, the complaints related to his failure to properly disclose his business relationship with Parish Councillor Dugard on his Register of Interests form and failure to declare a personal and prejudicial interest at specified meetings of the Parish Council when Parish Councillor Dugard’s planning applications were under consideration.
The Chairman of the Sub-Committee explained the procedure for the hearing. There were two additional documents put forward by Parish Councillor Dugard on a confidential basis. These were accepted, read and returned. (No copies were retained).
The investigating officer presented her reports and individual Sub-Committee Members and both Parish Councillors were given an opportunity to question her on the reports. The two Parish Councillors were then invited to present their case. The investigating officer and individual Sub-Committee Members had an opportunity to question Parish Councillors Dugard and Wright. The Investigating officer and Parish Councillors Dugard and Wright were then invited to sum up their case.
Having heard all the evidence, the Sub-Committee invited the Parish Councillors and the investigating officer to leave the meeting room whilst they considered their decisions, in consultation with the Independent Person and the Parish Representative. The Sub-Committee then invited the parties back into the room to deliver their decisions and explain the rationale. These are set out in the resolution to this Minute.
Having decided that there had been breaches of the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct and the Localism Act, the Investigating officer and Parish Councillors Dugard and Wright were asked whether they wished to make representations in relation to the form of the action that might be taken. Again the parties were asked to leave the meeting room whilst the Sub-Committee considered this particular aspect. On their return to the meeting room, the Chairman announced the form of action considered appropriate in this case, (also ... view the full minutes text for item 2.