Standards Committee Cancelled By Acting Chairman

wesleyan chapel 2The acting chairman of the Council committee that monitors members’ behaviour has cancelled a scheduled meeting to prevent damage to the Council’s reputation.

Gordon Bilsborough is unhappy with events following complaints by several Council officers over Cllr Brian Lowen’s conduct.

Last October, Cllr Lowen handed out a printout of an email to the media. Some people named within it allege that it includes false statements, which damage their reputation.

The email alleges collusion between members, media and officers after their movements were monitored in public places and those named claim they can prove the allegations are untrue.

Cllr Lowen was the chairman of the Standards committee at the time he handed out the documents and he was reported to that same committee.

The Town Hall handed the complaint to Cornwall Council who ruled that he should undergo media training. But some complainants say they are unhappy with that outcome and want the judgement re-evaluated.

Director of finance Peter Lawrence-Roberts formally complained about Cllr Lowen’s actions.

Peter says he is not satisfied with the outcome. But he is not sure now much further the matter can be taken now the standards regime has been changed so much and has been told that there are very few sanctions available.

Brian Lowen says he feels the ruling is fair

Gordon says he is unhappy that, as vice chairman, he was only informed of Brian Lowen’s resignation as chairman of Standards from reports in the media. Cllr Bilsborough says he has learned that there are older, unrelated complaints that have taken longer to resolve than the government’s Localism Act recommends and he called off last week’s meeting so he can gather more information.

Gordon says the Council’s image has been “tarnished” in the past and he has no intention of letting this committee add to this.

Brian Lowen has written to apologise to those concerned, as directed by Cornwall Council. He’s now waiting to hear where and when he will undertake his media training.

It’s still unclear who sent the original email, under the pseudonym, ‘Tim Knacker.’

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