Friday, 30 January 2009

INTERFERING WITH STANDARDS BOARD

One of the things I frequently see posted on Thanet blogs is a cycnicism about the standards of councillors. It's well known that the poor behaviour of some councillors has lead to Standards Board investigations and findings.

One of the things that most frustrates and disappoints me is the low standards of conduct and behaviour by some Thanet councillors. There appears to be no respect for the Standards Board process just an attempt to say or do whatever helps an individual no matter what the damage is to the corporate image of Thanet.

I have heard a rumour that some councillors may be seeking to avoid proper procedures. I have notified my Group Leader. He is quite properly immediately reporting it to Thanet Council's Monitoring Officer and Chief Executive to see if there is any truth to the information I have received.

I hope there will be no more tarnishing of Thanet's reputation by individuals who put themselves before the best interests of the community.

11 comments:

  1. And there you have it. It is very unfortunate but some councillors appear to put their own needs before those of the communities they are supposed to serve. These individuals need to be weeded out - starting at the top.

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  2. Why is there cynicism about standards? One need look no further than the minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 2 December 2008. These include a report of a resolution that "..the public be excluded from the meeting..". The resolution was legally valid but it does not lead to public confidence in the proceedings.

    For those interested in reading the full text of the resolution, it can be found at:

    http://thanetdc.maximaasp.com/THANETTROVE.ASP?P2=1&w=1440&h=900&c=32&HU=EmptyURL

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  3. Should it surprise us that a minority of Councillors have no shame or real contrition about their conduct and integrity when we have a Labour Government that has made 'Tory Sleaze' seem innocuous compared to the behaviour of an Ex Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers and now 4 Labour Peers?

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  4. Bertie - I understand what you are saying, but that same minority of suspect (I try hard not to use the word corrupt) Councillors are the ones that make a meal of the behaviour of said Labour MP's and Peers. The really appalling problem for Thanet is that the same minority of Councillors are the ones who call the shots. No wonder Thanet is declining so fast

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  5. Hugin thanks for the link will have a look.
    Bertie unsure which aspect of John Prescott you are referring to sex? well that was not good but it happens in life. His punch? He was assaulted. Something else? pl be clear. Ministers again be clear but are you suggesting those misbehaving locally said one morning, oh Cabinet Minister X did something wrong, therefore it is OK for me to go out and do something wrong today? Find it hard to see a causal link. The 4 Lords on all I have seen (and heard elsewhere) - I hope they go to prison. I could do a list of Tories and Lib Dems in "retaliation" but as Luke says I think you are missing the point.

    Unublished anon, thank you for the information. No I am not referring to the evidence you mention. You are right when you say

    "X could argue pre-judgement"

    so I am not publishing your comment to prevent that deliberate manufacturing of pre-judgment. I hope the others who will also be aware of the evidence you refer to will put the interests of Thanet first and report matters to the Chief Executive/Monitoring Officer.

    Sadly I suspect this will not be the case.

    Finally some of you are clearly assuming I am referring to a specific case you are particularly concerned with or interested in.

    My post carefully refers to no specific case. But as my blog consistently argues there are serious failings with the political culture of Thanet Council.

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  6. to the anonymous person making allegations against a councillor please put your name to your post or provide more detail, preferably both.

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  7. Re. the exclusion of the members of the public at the standards meeting last month, the reason why was explained in the minutes. Ive been thrown out a couple of times under that resolution before in other committees and there seems to be nothing wrong with it and is perfectly reasonable. If confidential information is possibly going to be discussed then the public are not to be involved.

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  8. The problem Mr Maskell is that confidentiality can easily be used as an excuse to keep matters that councillors find embarassing or politically inconvenient from public view. That is what leads to cynicism.

    You may think that the minutes adequately explain the reason for excluding the public from the meeting referred to, I do not.

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  9. Unpublished anon again. You are mistaken, this is not the place to make allegations to the Standards Board, you should write to the Chief Executive/Monitoring Officer at the Council. Please note they will not investigate anonymous allegations.

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  10. Im afraid you are clutching at straws, Hugin. Unless you have any evidence at all that anything untoward has happened, I'd let it rest. It is explained immediately afterwards about what was being discussed and under which legislation, which Im sure youve checked out. I think you are trying a little too hard to find dirt on the Council.

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  11. I have re-read those minutes Mr Maskell, you are correct in what you say. I have never doubted that the exclusion of the public from the meeting was lawful, but I am not happy about it.

    I still believe however that, amongst other things, exclusion of the public from meetings,for any reason, contributes to cynicism about local councillors motives. I will also say that I believe that most of that cynicism is misplaced, but our local councillors do sometimes act as their own worst enemies.

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