Alan Melton cleared of wrongdoing at special hearing of Fenland Council standards committee
COUNCILLOR Alan Melton was today (Tuesday) cleared of any wrongdoing at a special hearing of Fenland District Council s Standards Committee. Cllr Melton, the council s portfolio holder for finance, had been accused of disclosing confidential and untrue in
COUNCILLOR Alan Melton was today (Tuesday) cleared of any wrongdoing at a special hearing of Fenland District Council's Standards Committee.
Cllr Melton, the council's portfolio holder for finance, had been accused of disclosing confidential and untrue information about securing �1.5million of funding for leisure facilities in Chatteris.
The complainant, Chatteris town councillor Chris Howes, claimed that Cllr Melton's letter - published the day before this year's Cambridgeshire County Council's elections - affected the result.
Cllr Howes said Cllr Melton breached Paragraphs 4 (that you should not disclose confidential information), 5 (that you should not conduct yourself in a manner which could be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute) and 6 (that you should not use your position to secure yourself an advantage) of the Councillors' Code of Conduct.
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However, a Determination Hearing Panel of the Standards Committee found "that Cllr Melton did not breach Paragraphs 4, 5 or 6 of the Code of Conduct or any other parts of the Code of Conduct".
The panel decided that Cllr Melton, by publishing the letter, "had not released confidential information, made an untrue statement or attempted or misused his position to confer an advantage on himself during a County Council election".
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Hundreds of council officer hours and as much as �15,000 was spent on the audit.
Speaking after the decision, Cllr Melton said: “I am pleased it is behind us now, I am just sorry it tied up so much council resource and time.”
He added: “Although the Conservative Party is opposed to the Standards Board I have nothing but the highest praise for the way they conducted this work.”
Cllr Howes said: “I’m pleased that the matter has now been resolved, but disappointed that Cllr Melton's claim to have secured �1.5million from Cambridgeshire Horizons was proved inaccurate.
“I’m now hoping that Cllr Melton, as Portfolio Holder for Finance, will be vigorously lobbying Fenland District Council to provide funding for Leisure Provision in Chatteris when the Town Council's June motion is considered by Cabinet in December.”