Report Date


Case Against

Abertillery & Llanhilleth Community Council


Disclosure & register of interest

Case Reference Number



No action necessary

The Ombudsman received a complaint that a Former Member of Abertillery & Llanhilleth Community Council (“the Council”) had failed to appropriately declare an interest in Human Resources (“HR”) matters relating to the Former Clerk to the Council and had improperly gained an advantage for himself.  During the course of that investigation, the Ombudsman considered that another member of the Council (“the Member”) may also have breached the Code of Conduct, so an investigation into the actions of the Member was commenced.

The investigation found that the Member, following receipt of incorrect advice from the Council’s Deputy Clerk, had failed to declare a personal or prejudicial interest in HR matters relating to the Former Clerk, despite there being an ongoing Ombudsman investigation at the time into a complaint made against the Member by the Former Clerk.  The Member voted on a settlement agreement between the Council and the Former Clerk.

The investigation concluded that the Member should have declared a personal and prejudicial interest in matters relating to the Former Clerk, given the ongoing investigation.  The failure to do so was suggestive of a breach of paragraphs 11 and 14 of the Code of Conduct.

The investigation did not find that the Member’s failure to declare a personal or prejudicial interest directly led to an advantage being gained for himself.  The investigation also found that the evidence did not support a finding of ‘disrepute’ in breach of paragraph 6(1)(a) of the Code.

The Member’s actions were strongly mitigated by the incorrect advice he received in relation to his duty to play no part in the decision.  Also, there was no direct evidence that his actions caused an advantage for himself, and the agreement would have been approved even if the Member had not played a part in the meeting.  It was therefore concluded that no further action was necessary.

A recommendation was made to the Council for members and staff to receive training on the Code of Conduct, particularly in relation to personal and prejudicial interests, as soon as possible.