CODE : Promotion of equality and respect
CODE - No evidence of breach
Llanvaches Community Council
The Ombudsman received a complaint that a Member (“the Member”) of Llanvaches Community Council (“the Community Council”) had breached the Code of Conduct (“the Code”) regarding matters concerning a boundary dispute, work conducted by a Tree Surgeon and the disclosure of confidential information.
The Ombudsman investigated whether the Member’s conduct may amount to a breach of paragraphs 4(b), 4(c), 5(a), 6(1)(a) and 7(a) of the Code of Conduct (“the Code”).
The Ombudsman obtained documents which demonstrated that the boundary dispute had been resolved, and the Member had declared an interest and not been involved in, or sought to influence, the Community Council’s decision regarding a formal request to plant saplings on the boundary. Interviews were undertaken with the complainant, the Tree Surgeon, and another Community Council Member. The Ombudsman found that the Tree Surgeon had removed branches from a tree on Community Council leased land without authorisation, the Member had a legitimate reason to question the work being carried out, and he had not used abusive or offensive language. During the investigation it was established that the disclosure of confidential information was being considered as part of another complaint.
The Ombudsman did not consider that the Member’s conduct concerning the boundary dispute or towards the Tree Surgeon was suggestive of a breach of the Code. However, he recommended that the Member should reflect on how he speaks about others and on his obligations under the Code to treat others with respect and consideration.