CODE - Promotion of equality & respect
CODE - No Evidence of Breach
Radyr and Morganstown Community Council
The Ombudsman received a complaint that a Member (“the Member”) of Radyr and Morganstown Community Council (“the Council”) had breached the Code of Conduct.
It was alleged that the Member made racist comments to another member of the Council by making a seemingly out of context and negative reference to a political and religious figure to the Complainant who was of the same religion as that figure. The Ombudsman determined that an investigation into the comments was appropriate and considered whether the Member’s conduct may have breached paragaphs 4(a), 4(b), 4(c) and 6(1)(a) of the Code of Conduct.
Information was obtained from the Council, including relevant meeting minutes and emails. Witnesses, including the complainant, and the Member were also interviewed.
The investigation found that the Member’s comments could reasonably be said to fall within the realms of freedom of expression. The investigation found that the Member’s explanation for his comments, the fact that he had posted previously on social media about similar issues and that he said that he did not intend to be disrespectful to the Complainant and her faith suggested that he was entitled to express his views. His comments did not go beyond what was lawful comment and did not amount to gratuitous or personal comment or hate speech. The Ombudsman was not persuaded that the comments amounted to a breach of paragraph 4(a), 4(b), 4(c) or 6(1)(a) of the Code of Conduct.
The Ombudsman found that under Section 69(4)(a) there was no evidence of any failure to comply with the Code of Conduct.