Scilly’s Standards Committee Ending Complaints Dating Back Years

Council chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

Council chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

One of the Council’s two outstanding Standards complaints against elected members has been resolved.

At the March meeting of the Standards committee, Acting Chairman Gordon Bilsborough had asked for the two complaints against members, still on the Council’s books, to be finalised as quickly as possible.

One of these had been under investigation for two years and one for four years without being resolved.

Gordon says these complaints had arisen under the old Standards regime, prior to the new 2011 Localism Act, which changed the rules on how complaints against members should be investigated.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said at the time that the old system was full of, “nuisance complaints and petty, sometimes malicious, allegations of councillor misconduct that sapped public confidence in local democracy.”

It was hoped that the complaints could be dropped within two weeks of the meeting, but Gordon says Cornwall Council’s Legal Services, who advise our Council, then said that cases couldn’t be concluded in the period before the local elections.

In the end, one case has been agreed by the committee and no breach of the Code of Conduct was found.

As the Vice-Chairman Sheila Thomas lost her seat at the recent elections, the second case can’t be completed until after the Committee meets in June.

Gordon couldn’t give details of the cases as the complaints are confidential.