Report Date

12/06/2023

Case Against

Towyn & Kinmel Bay Town Council

Subject

Selflessness & Stewardship

Case Reference Number

202301148

Outcome

Discontinued

The Ombudsman received a complaint that a member (“the Member”) of Towyn & Kinmel Bay Town Council (“the Council”) may have breached the Code of Conduct (“the Code”) whilst carrying out the Council’s food bank shopping. It was alleged that the Member used his own personal supermarket rewards card (a loyalty scheme that provides customers with the opportunity to accrue points that can be used to spend in the supermarket) to accrue points when purchasing foodbank shopping on behalf of the Council which he then used for his own personal shopping.

The Member denied the allegations and said that the points accrued were used to purchase additional items for the foodbank. The Ombudsman’s investigation found that the complainant had not witnessed the events complained about and had been advised of the allegations by 2 members of staff in the supermarket in question. One of the members of staff was unwilling to provide any evidence to the Ombudsman. The second member of staff said that she did not have any evidence and only knew what other people had told her. The Ombudsman found that there was an absence of any available witness evidence. A significant amount of time had lapsed since the events and there was no evidence available as to what specific purchases and on what dates such purchases were allegedly made by the Member.

The Ombudsman also noted that the Member had agreed with advice from the Monitoring Officer to no longer use his personal rewards card when purchasing the Council’s food bank shopping. In view of this and the absence of available evidence and the time that had lapsed since the events, the Ombudsman considered that it would not be proportionate to investigate the matter further.