Barnett and Harley Outcomes

Having received the two decisions shown below, I have just received this, (16Jan17) which I think is bonkers.

Dear Mr Brown

Complaint ref: IAT – 012516; Councillor Barnett

I am writing to advise you that, on 11 January 2017, I considered your complaint alleging that Councillor Barnett may have acted in breach of the code of conduct for members. I consulted the appointed independent persons in considering the matter. The complaint related to concerns about a failure to declare an interest.

Wherever possible and appropriate, I attempt to resolve complaints informally. On the basis of the information available, I considered that points 1 and 2 of your complaint had previously been dealt with under your previous complaint (number 011945). With regard to point 3 of your complaint in relation to declaring interests at steering group meetings, I found that there was no breach of the code of conduct. The requirement to declare interests does not apply to steering group meetings as it is not a meeting as defined under our code of conduct or the Localism Act 2011. A declaration of interest would only need to be declared if the steering group had been established as a sub committee or advisory committee which I do not believe is what Border Group Parish Council has done. This view was confirmed by the appointed independent persons.

I found that Councillor Barnett had not breach (sic) the code of conduct with respect to the declaration of interests at steering group meetings of Border Group Parish Council.

There is no right to request a review or appeal against this decision, and this therefore concludes the complaint. Please contact me if you have any queries about the process.

So apparently the NDP Steering Group is not a sub committee or an advisory committee. Presumably then it can be completely ignored when it comes to its recommendations on the NDP. Perhaps some one from BGPC can explain exactly what its status is.

 

16Jan17

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Dear Mr Brown

Complaint ref: IAT – 011945; Councillor Barnett 

I am writing to advise you that, on 17 November 2016, I considered your complaint alleging that Councillor Barnett may have acted in breach of the code of conduct for members. I consulted the appointed independent persons in considering the matter. The complaint related to concerns about a failure to declare an interest.

Wherever possible and appropriate, I attempt to resolve complaints informally. On the basis of the information available, I considered that there had been a breach of the code of conduct. This view was confirmed by the appointed independent persons.

I found that Councillor Barnett had failed to accurately record his interest in the land on his register of interests and had also failed to declare an interest at a meeting.

There is no right to request a review or appeal against this decision, and this therefore concludes the complaint. Please contact me if you have any queries about the process.

Dear Mr Brown

COMPLAINT NUMBER: 012538; COMPLAINT AGAINST COUNCILLOR S HARLEY

I am writing to advise you that, on 6 January 2017, I considered your complaint alleging that Councillor S Harley may have acted in breach of the code of conduct for members. I consulted the appointed independent persons in considering the matter. The complaint related to a failure to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest.

Wherever possible and appropriate, I attempt to resolve complaints informally. On the basis of the information available, I considered that there had been a breach of the code of conduct.

On the basis of the information available, I took the view that the loan was not a disclosable pecuniary interest and does not need to be declared on Councillor Harley’s register of interests. However, the land in question is in the ownership of a member of her family and is classed as an “other interest” which should be declared as an non-disclosable pecuniary interest, i.e. it is a business affecting the financial standing of her family. This interest should be disclosed at all meetings where the land in question is discussed and that Councillor Harley failed to declare this interest at a meeting of the parish council on 16 June 2015 which is a breach of the code of conduct.

There is no right to request a review or appeal against this decision, and this therefore concludes the complaint. Please contact me if you have any queries about the process.

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