There is something, frankly, grubby about the present workings of this Fenland committee
THERE is something, frankly, grubby about the way the standards committee of Fenland District Council is going about its business. We confess to being mystified as to what has got into its members. On Monday it was asked to accept the recommendations of a
THERE is something, frankly, grubby about the way the standards committee of Fenland District Council is going about its business. We confess to being mystified as to what has got into its members.
On Monday it was asked to accept the recommendations of an investigation conducted by its own monitoring team that includes two lawyers that no further action need be taken against Councillor Alan Melton.
The complaint, made by a Liberal Democrat town councillor in Cllr Melton's home town of Chatteris, reared its head in the aftermath of this year's county council elections and centred on a letter published on the eve of that election.
In essence the monitoring team were asked to investigate whether Cllr Melton had leaked confidential information about the status of a �1.5 million bid for funding a leisure centre in Chatteris and whether Cllr Melton misled people into thinking the money was still available even though the funding had been withdrawn, possibly temporarily, possibly for good.
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An 80 page report prepared by Fenland's legal team concluded no breach of the code of the conduct had occurred, and the matter should be left there.
Mystifyingly the committee felt otherwise and now we await the even more bizarre spectacle of a full blown determination panel into the allegations with all its accompanying powers of possible censure and ill will that will no doubt follow. Many may think that over such a trifling piece of election banter - which ignored the acrimonious and at times mendacious leaflets of the Liberal Democrats - the committee would have been wise to have never gotten involved.
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This newspaper has long advocated a strong, independently minded and responsible standards committee to uphold honour and integrity among our elected representatives but we have to confess to being somewhat perplexed by its tenacity in pursuing this case.