• EDDC councillor apologises for behaviour

    16th October 2012 | News | Claire
  • A DISTRICT councillor has issued a full apology after failing to treat two fellow councillors with respect.

    As previously reported, an East Devon District Council (EDDC) standards committee found that Councillor Mike Allen (Cons, Honiton St Michael’s) had brought his office into disrepute.

    The complaints were filed in November last year and refer to meetings of EDDC’s Local Development Framework (LDF) Panel, chaired by councillor Allen.

    The EDDC standards committee met in May and found that Councillor Allen had failed to treat fellow councillors Roger Giles (Ind, Ottery Town) and Claire Wright (Ind, Ottery Rural) with respect.
    At the time, Councillor Allen indicated that he did not accept the findings of a report prepared for the committee.

    After the verdict, the committee ruled that Councillor Allen should pen a formal letter of apology to the council as a whole for his “unacceptable treatment” of the two councillors and for his “failings as a chairman”.

    It was also ruled that he should undergo relevant training, including media awareness.

    The ruling said: “The committee recognised the seriousness of the breaches but took into account the hard work carried out by councillor Allen, the challenges he faced as chairman, his lack of experience as a chairman and as a district councillor.”

    Councillor Allen did write a letter of apology, which was circulated to councillors when full council met on Wednesday, October 10th.

    Among other things, councillor Allen wrote: “At the LDF panel on August 16th, 2011, I did not treat councillor Wright with respect.

    “At the LDF panel on November 1st I did not treat councillors Giles and Wright with respect.

    “By my treatment of Councillor Giles, I brought my office into disrepute.”

    There were also apologies in relation to comments he made about Councillor Giles to Pulman’s View.

    Referring to the November 1st meeting, councillor Allen also wrote: “I do agree that I should have asked for a vote on the issue according to the constitution and therefore unreservedly apologise to Councillor Giles and the council for my inadvertent breach of paragraph 3(1) of the code of conduct.”

    Councillor Allen also wrote that he had already apologised to councillor Wright at a conciliation meeting. The letter concluded: “I hope that you will accept my sincere apologies acknowledging these mistakes. I do acknowledge once again, and apologise, that I made errors out of ignorance rather than any malice and regard the best way of showing repentance is by action rather than words.

    “So I hope and trust that council will accept my sincerity, with my immediate retraining and an outstanding further request already made to discuss these issues with the monitoring officer and chief executive.”