Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 29, 2016

Councillors Have A Duty To The Electorate

The championlogo newspaper has today published the already public version of the Our West Lancashire Cllr Owens v Tory Cllr Moon “war of words” [see below]. The article adds nothing to versions already aired in various other news media. But it does serve to keep the issue in front of the electorate of Hesketh-with-Becconsall who were mostly in ignorance of Moon’s wearing of two council hats in different boroughs, his receipt of two annual allowances, muppets-waldorf-stadler and his remark that, to quote him “I haven’t heard anyone complain or question the legality of the situation…”. But Moon doesn’t mention the Members Code of Conduct and the principles within it that members “must comply with”, especially that “Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest”. Did Moon really believe he should wait for someone to complain while hoping they wouldn’t?

It should be made clear Moon is a 13 year term councillor in Wyre Borough and as such is familiar with its same as WLBC Code of Councillor Conduct…“You are a member or co-opted member of the Wyre Borough Council and hence you shall have regard to the following principles – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership”…You must act solely in the public interest…You are accountable for your decisions to the public and you must co-operate fully with whatever scrutiny is appropriate to your office…You must promote and support high standards of conduct when serving in your public post, in particular as characterised by the above requirements, by leadership and example”.

Cllr Owens wrote to Moon “I knew you had moved to West Lancashire shortly before May’s elections when you were first elected, but to learn that you had been and still remain a councillor in Wyre was a shock. How can you represent residents adequately in both Boroughs? Did you make the electors of Hesketh with Becconsall aware that you were a Wyre councillor when you stood for election in May and that you intended to continue to remain as one? As the next local elections in Wyre are not due until May 2019, should you not resign from your position there, so that the electors of Hesketh-with-Becconsall can have your undivided attention?”.

To which Moon replied “Yes your right I am a councillor on Wyre council and have been a very effective one since 2003. At the last election for Wyre I was resident there in my house on Park Lane. Since then I have moved to Hesketh Bank which has allowed me to apply for the council at West Lancashire. Sorry I accidentally missed answering your questions. 1 I do and will continue represent the electorate to a very high standard on both councils, 2 This wasn’t a requirement of the election process. 3 When the elections are due in Wyre in 2019 I will assess the situation and the election protocol at that time, however I will be giving my best effort to every resident I represent, wherever they are”.

Item 3 is of course a clear enough issue. Moon is elected in WLBC for 4 years. He can and does therefore claim to “assess the situation and the electoral protocol at that time (Wyre 2019)” but the Hesketh-with-Becconsall electorate, and indeed ALL WLBC electorates, do not have that privilege, being stuck with Moon until 2020 half. What if there is a bye-election in a West Lancashire ward in 2017, perhaps in Derby ward if Cllr Greenall goes to LCC and he fulfils his promise to stand down in Derby ward, refusing to wear two hats at public expense? How will the discerning Derby ward electorate feel about another Wyre, or South Ribble, sitting councillor declaring an interest by buying a house locally and fighting on precisely the same grounds as Moon did?

A few weeks ago an important Council agenda item was mentioned on the WLBC website. Under the heading “How the council works” and then “Constitution” it refers to publication of a Constitution of 18th Nov 2016 1.33 pm. In a huge range of Constitution Rules etc there was Item 94-Members Code of Conduct Part 5-Codes and Protocols. This states; 1 You are a Member or Co-opted Member and hence you shall have regard to the principles set out in the attached Annex. You must comply with this Code whenever you act in your capacity as a Member or Co-opted Member. You must treat others with respect. Selflessness; Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. Accountability; Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this. Honesty; Holders of public office should be truthful. Openness; Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing. Leadership Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

We simply ask again, and will repeat it if necessary, why doesn’t Moon take the opportunity to resign his Hesketh-with-Becconsall seat, offer himself for re-election but this time mention what he apparently didn’t before, his disdain for the electorate by not stating his Wyre membership, his already poor 67% attendance record at WLBC, his exceptional fondness for being paid two full annual allowances for split posts, his disgraceful and shoddy “dog poo” throwing incident, and his bizarre wearing of underpants on his head at a Wyre council meeting. In asking this we are simply doing what is contained in the standards code… being willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs. moonchampion-001 [click to read]

 


Responses

  1. I think councillors have to take an oath and sign to follow the code of conduct. Moon must have had his fingers crossed on his free hand while doing so.

    • Strange that he opted to claim there was nothing wrong with what he was doing, always a bad sign! And that a fellow Tory councillor talked of his “moral compass”! It seems as though he is anointed by his new colleagues in West Lancashire, whereas everybody else thinks they have scraped the barrel.


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