View from the top?

This letter, published in last Friday’s Advertiser, makes interesting reading:

Standards committee not run by any one group

“I refer to the article of  March 1 regarding disruption at a recent meeting of Anston Parish Council, in which it was suggested by Mr Smith that the Standards Committee of Rotherham Borough Council is “run by the Labour group so nothing will happen there”.

As the Chairman of the Borough Council’s Standards Committee, I believe it is important that your readers are informed of the true nature of the committee.

The committee is composed of eight borough councillors, two of whom are from the Conservative group, and there are three representatives from parish councils. In addition the council, recognising the importance of independent and objective input into the maintenance of high standards of ethical behaviour by elected members, appointed five independent members to act in an advisory capacity.

The council has gone far beyond the obligations of the Localism Act and the practice of other councils in this regard.

In addition the Independent Person (which is a statutory appointment) is regularly consulted upon standards issues and plays a pro-active role with regard to ensuring high standards of elected member conduct are maintained.

With such extensive independent involvement in the business of the Standards Committee I am sure the public will agree that the committee is not run by the Labour, or any other, group.”

Cllr Alan Gosling, Chairman, Rotherham Borough Council Standards Committee

5 thoughts on “View from the top?

  1. I read this letter in the Advertiser and was quite amused. Heres some facts Cllr Gosling did not mention.
    Yes the Committee is made up of eight Cllrs, thats SIX Labour and TWO Tory, and yes there are five Independent Members and Three Parish Councillors. What was not said is that the Independent Members and the Parish Councillors do not have a vote. So the Committee Members who have the power are the Eight RMBC Cllrs. The comments that were made by Mr Smith were probably based on the actions of the Previous Standards Committee, which to most people who had dealings with that Committee, Judged it to be a farce.
    Regarding Anston Parish Council, there are serious problems sourrounding the Parish Council and the Conduct of Members. There have been “Two Complaints” about Cllrs, which seemed to have been deemed so serious, that the Independent Person has attended a Meeting with Parish Councillors. Further the Independent Person was present when the issue of the eviction of the ex-miner took place. It seems that from that Meeting, the Monitoring Officer has asked for the Independent Person to hold a Meeting with with Members of the Public (Cllrs Excluded) to ask their views on the Parish Council.
    It is quite clear there are serious conduct issues within the Parish Council, which is surprising when you realise that the Chairman of Anston Parish Council is Cllr Beck. Cllr Beck sits on the Standards Committee.
    My message to the current “new” Committee is this, Prove Mr Smith wrong by your actions, If any Cllr breaches the Code of Conduct, then the appropriate “punishment” should be handed out.
    The last Committee lost its reputation because the Public perceived that Cllrs were being “let off”. If the Public loses faith in the standards Committee, its reason for being, just ends up being a target for the old saying “they are protecting each other again”.

    I suspect the people of Anston are watching events closely.


  2. Pingback: View from the top? | maltbyblogger

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