Fury at ‘denial of justice’ could lead to rule change

CHANGE Joint chief executive of East Hampshire District Council and Havant Borough Council, Sandy Hopkins
CHANGE Joint chief executive of East Hampshire District Council and Havant Borough Council, Sandy Hopkins
Portsmouth Port. Photo by Chris Pearsall

‘No-deal Brexit’ could be a catastrophe for Portsmouth ferry port, shipping boss says

0
Have your say

DISCIPLINARY procedures at a council look set to change after furious councillors complained they were unjust.

Currently, if a member of the public makes a complaint about an East Hampshire District councillor the councillors are not told about the complaint until after disciplinary action has been decided by the standards committee.

One councillor who was told by letter they needed further training following a complaint threatened to take the council to the European court of Human Rights unless the system was changed.

The councillor, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I blew my top at EHDC and it would appear that it has had some affect because the standards committee had not long before refused to change the rules.

‘I spoke to the chief executive Sandy Hopkins about this – not about my situation but generally – and said it was a total denial of natural justice.

‘The irony is that these rules come out of the legal and democratic department.’

Jo Barden–Hernandez, legal and democratic services manager at the council, said in a report to the committee: ‘Most people serving in public office treasure their reputation and the way we are currently applying the regulations is resulting in tarnished reputations and creating a very strong feeling of unfairness amongst councillors.’

The standards committee meets at 3pm tomorrow at Penns Place, Petersfield, to decide whether to warn councillors of complaints before action is taken.