Posted by: John Brace | 7th November 2018

Wirral Council published Standards Panel decision and recommendations after complaint made about councillors

Wirral Council published Standards Panel decision and recommendations after complaint made about councillors

                                          

Standards Panel (Wirral Council) 9th October 2018 Cllr Paul Hayes (foreground)

Standards Panel (Wirral Council) 9th October 2018


In an update to last month’s Wirral Council’s Standards Panel met to consider complaint made about Cllr Paul Hayes’ quote in a press release Wirral Council yesterday (6th November 2018) published the decision of the Standards Panel who in a 4 page decision found:

Cllr Ian Lewis did not breach the Code of Conduct.
Cllr Tom Anderson did not breach the Code of Conduct.
Cllr Paul Hayes did not breach the Code of Conduct in relation to all allegations except for one allegation which was found a minor breach of the Code of Conduct in relation to one sentence in a press release he issued and specifically with regards to respect towards Dr Maggie Atkinson.

As a result of the complaint there are two outcomes:

1) the Standards Panel Chair (Cllr Phil Gilchrist) is required to write to Cllr Ian Lewis asking him to give advice and guidance to his Group’s councillors on press releases in the future.

2) the Standards Panel decision will be reported to the next ordinary public meeting of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee held on the evening of the 20th November 2018.

Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee meets tonight at a public meeting at Wallasey Town Hall to consider whether to change policy in how complaints about councillors are dealt with.

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Responses

  1. My God John how much has this storm in a teacup cost???. !30 plus pages of Weightman legalise , in the no case to answer & the report is still under lock & key and there it will rot with all the other secret reports, no change there then so much for openness & transparency.

  2. It’s hard to say more than JH. It’s almost as if these investigations are designed to end in futility.

    • Well councillors also decide on the policy as to how complaints about councillors are considered.

      Then councillors decide, including a councillor that’s usually from the same political party as the councillor complained about (if a complaint is found to be proven) what if anything happens next.

      Bobby47, can you see the problems with how it looks and independence and objectivity of decision making?

      Out of 66 councillors, roughly only 1 complaint a year ever makes it as far as a Standards Panel (which takes around a year from the complaint being made). Then it takes about a month after the Standards Panel for the decision to be published. The councillor then has a right of appeal to a Standards Appeal Panel.

      This was all discussed last night at the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee as some councillors think its unfair on councillors and those making complaints that it takes so long and that the existing timescales in the policy aren’t adhered to in 90% of cases.

      Councillors were told this is because the Council doesn’t have enough staff time to deal with the complaints within the timescales as the main people involved (Monitoring Officer, Deputy Monitoring Officer) have a wide range of other duties to perform too leaving little time to deal with complaints about councillors.

  3. The Council doesn’t have enough staff?, We have been saying for years there’s far too many people working for the Council as that’s where all the Council tax is going, on wages and not services!
    Still don’t know why we need 66 Councillors! cut them down to 12

    • Well to clarify my earlier comment, there are usually 66 councillors, at the moment there are 65 as one resigned last month and there’s a by-election in Upton happening to elect the 66th councillor.

      There are sixty-six councillors because there are twenty-two wards on the Wirral, each ward elects three councillors, hence the 66 number.

      There are a lot of people that work for Wirral Council (as well as the school staff at the various schools etc in the area that are funded through Wirral Council).


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