Scilly’s Standards Chairman Questioned Over Email

Cllr Brian Lowen

A St Mary’s Councillor says he won’t seek re-election in next May’s elections and may leave the Council before then.

Cllr Brian Lowen chairs the Standards committee that investigates whether councillors have broken rules or breached protocol. But his judgment is being questioned after the Town Hall received formal complaints about his actions.

Cllr Lowen distributed an email which documented movements of councillors and staff, and which alleged collusion between some members, officers, named locals and Radio Scilly.

The email, sent from someone using a pseudonym, ‘Tim Knacker,’ was printed out and handed by Brian to Scilly Today and BBC Radio Cornwall reporters outside the meeting that led to Philip Hygate’s suspension.

The email alleged that a group was meeting regularly to promote an un-named candidate for chief executive.

Another allegation was that a Heart of Scilly supporter, a councillor, and Council and school staff met to share documents and discuss private Council matters in public in St Mary’s Hall Hotel.

Those locals claim that’s misleading and witnesses can testify that those named were actually dining separately in a crowded dining area and not meeting together, as was implied.

The email detailed movements of councillors and Council staff, where they socialised and with whom.

Vice chairman of Standards, Gordon Bilsborough, says he cannot recall a single issue that has attracted so many separate complaints.

Cornwall Council has appointed a monitoring office to look at the evidence with two islands-based independent people. They’ll assess whether there is a case to answer. If there is, the Standards committee will decide whether they wish to impose sanctions.

Last night, Brian Lowen told Radio Scilly that he shouldn’t have passed on the email. He said he was, “deeply sorry for his actions which unintentionally led to everybody getting to know about it.”

Cllr Lowen has been given ten days to reply to Cornwall’s investigating officer and says he will respond.


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