Friday, July 16, 2010

Conduct panel recommends a reprimand

THE Derwent Valley Council's independent Code of Conduct Panel has recommended that I be reprimanded in the matter of a complaint lodged by Mr Ian Brown of Risdon Vale. Significantly, the panel found "that there was no positive proof of premeditated and deliberate intention to embarrass, discredit or malign Mr Brown" and there was no need for a personal apology.

The panel took the view that I "should have been aware of the possibility of of personal offence and acted in a more caring and sensitive manner". To this end, the panel recommended that I "attain an understanding" of Councillor Code of Conduct obligations as follows:

  1. will act honestly and in accordance with the law, the Code of Conduct and relevant Council policies and administrative procedures;
  2. will show respect and courtesy when dealing with other Councillors, Council employees and the public, and refrain from any form of conduct which may cause any person offence or embarrassment;
  3. will exercise reasonable care and diligence;
  4. will act impartially and in the best interests of the community;
  5. will be responsive to community views and seek to communicate these to the Council.

While I object strongly to the suggestion that I do not already act in accordance with those principles - both as a councillor and in my life generally - it is not my intention to appeal the panel's recommendation of a reprimand.

If no appeal is received from myself or the complainant by August 4 or thereabouts, the panel's recommendation will be considered firstly by a closed council meeting and finally by an open council meeting. 

Comments will not be published until this matter is concluded.
  • Last night's council meeting considered a raft of recommendations on the subject of a review of the Councillor Code of Conduct. As the above complaint remains live at this stage, I thought it best to declare an interest and leave the room. Cr James Graham also declared an interest and left the room. My formal declaration appears below.

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