CODE : Promotion of equality & respect
CODE - Referred to Standards Committee
Haverfordwest Town Council
The Ombudsman received a complaint that a Member (“the Member”) of Haverfordwest Town Council (“the Council”) had breached the Code of Conduct for Members of the Council. It was alleged that the Member called the Clerk “a liar” on 2 occasions during a meeting of the Council’s Management, Estates and Strategy (“MES”) Committee on 5 April 2022.
The investigation considered whether the Member failed to comply with the following provisions of the Code of Conduct:
The Ombudsman’s investigation obtained copies of minutes and other documents from the Council and obtained witness accounts from 6 witnesses who were present at relevant meetings. It also considered comments made by the Member.
The Member accepted that he had called the Clerk “a liar” on 2 occasions during the MES meeting. The Ombudsman therefore considered that the Member’s conduct was indicative of a breach of paragraphs 4(b) and 4(c) of the Code of Conduct. The Ombudsman did not consider that this incident, in isolation, was suggestive of a breach of paragraph 6(1)(a) of the Code of Conduct.
The report on the investigation was referred to the Monitoring Officer of Pembrokeshire County Council for consideration by its Standards Committee.
The Standards Committee concluded that the Member had breached paragraphs 4(b), 4(c) and 6(1)(a) of the Code of Conduct. Accordingly, the Standards Committee decided that the Member should be censured, the maximum available sanction as the Member resigned from office shortly before the hearing