Councillor Gordon McCann and the “criminals” of RAFF
According to Wyre’s Democratic Services department the committee, last night, considered the report into Cllr McCann’s behaviour, and adopted its recommendation that:
It is recommended that the appropriate sanction to be applied is to submit a formal report to the full Council meeting on 17th October detailing the nature of the breach (in effect “naming and shaming”) Councillor McCann.
It would appear from the report that
“the sanctions available in cases where there had been a breach of the Code of Conduct had been relaxed as part of a new national light touch standards framework.”
This is yet another perverse effect of Mr Pickles and his laughable entitled “localism”. Local councils, it seems have lost a lot of the power they had to censure effectively a councillor who breaches their code of conduct.
Although it was concluded in the report for the committee that
“The comments made by Cllr McCann were not in accordance with a number of the general principles contained in the Code of Conduct, namely, objectivity, integrity and honesty and as such amount to a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct.”
we were told that all that will happen is that he is subjected to some minor embarrassment for having suggested, to a large audience at a major conference, that some public spirited and dedicated community activists are guilty of criminal activity.
Of course, if Mr Roberts and his colleagues at Raff are not satisfied with this, it would seem that this ruling might support a claim for damages?
And here is the minuted account
Code of Conduct Complaint: Councillor McCann
The Monitoring Officer submitted a report on a Code of Conduct complaint received from Ian Roberts, Chairman of the Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF).
The Monitoring Officer explained the process he had followed in investigating the complaint, his findings of facts and the conclusions he had reached, as set out in his report. He answered questions from members of the Committee on the investigation process.
The Committee, having considered the information presented to it, accepted the findings and conclusions set out in the Monitoring Officers report.
The Committee then considered what would be an appropriate and proportionate sanction to apply.
(1) That the comments made by Councillor McCann were not in accordance with a number of the general principles contained in the Code of Conduct, namely, objectivity, integrity and honesty and, as such, amounted to a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct.
(2) That a report of the Chairman of the Committee and the Monitoring Officer be submitted to the full Council meeting on 17 October detailing the nature of the breach and the decisions made (in effect “naming and shaming” Councillor McCann).
(3) That Councillor McCann be recommended to make a further apology recognising that the Residents Action on Fylde Fracking was a legitimate pressure group, that the apology should also refer to the outcome of the complaints proceedings and that a copy be sent to the organisers of the Shale Gas World Conference.
(4) That it be noted that responsibility for the apology rested with the individual Member who was the subject of the complaint, as it was the individual Member’s responsibility to observe the Code of Conduct and, accordingly, that the sanctions that could be imposed related to the individual Member and not the Council.