Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Local government standards: Latest nonsense

Ministers may still think they can get away with not declaring all their financial interests, but concern for standards is biting ever deeper in local government. Take the saga of the Clun bus shelter.

Friday's Shropshire Star reported:

A south Shropshire parish councillor has resigned in a “weird” row over the design of a bus shelter which she claimed was unsuitable for her village.

Susan Dowell was brought before a watchdog committee amid allegations that she had already made her mind up about the shelter in Church Street, Clun, before it was debated by her councillors.

The South Shropshire District Council standards committee found she had pre-determined the result of the application and suspended her from Clun and Chapel Parish Council for three months and told her to make an apology.

It gets worse. The paper goes on to say:

In March this year Councillor Nicholas Appleton-Fox was cleared by the Standards Board for England following a heated discussion about the bus shelter.

The board said he did not bring his office or authority into disrepute.

Susan Dowell has resigned from Clun Parish Council. I don't blame her.


Anonymous said...

It gets much worse than that! you don't know the half of it.
Councillor Appleton-Fox was not cleared of all allegations- he was found to have breached the code on several accounts.I don't know why the paper failed to print this part of the story!!!!
The councillor didn't declare an interest plus he "failed to treat people with respect". (Thats abuse to you and me)For this he was not even ticked off. Ex-councillor Dowell gets 3 months suspension, is told to apologise and is told she needs retraining. That's what we like ----confidence in local democracy!!!!!
Incidently, a week after Ex-councillor Dowells resignation, the "Star" reported that the remaining parish councillors had to be retained. This is not just "weird" it's frightening!

Anonymous said...

Sue Dowell is great i knew her from UCL chaplaincy,she and Graham were amazing
whatever she says is right

Anonymous said...

Rock on Sue