Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 19, 2018

WLBC Standards Advice For Cllr Curry

As we read the bleatings of Aughton & Downholland Tory Cllr Curry because someone complained about him to the august and upright body that masquerades as the WLBC Standards Committee, which only has one standard, to find the accused not guilty, we should look at the evidence of its uselessness.

In 2016/17 six members were appointed to the Committee. The Chairman and Vice Chairman are appointed at Council and, respectively, are the Leader of the Council and Leader of the main Opposition Group. At least three elected members of the Standards Committee must be present at its meetings. Substitute members may be nominated in exceptional circumstances and if the nominated substitute has been appropriately trained.

Under delegated authority, from 1 July 2012 the initial decision on whether a complaint requires formal investigation, is determined by the Monitoring Officer (MO), subject to consultation with the Independent Person (IP) as is the ability to refer particular complaints to the Standards Committee (Assessment Sub-Committee) where the MO feels that it would be inappropriate for him to take a decision on the complaint, if there were particular sensitivities. The adoption of these arrangements provides an opportunity for the MO to seek to resolve a complaint informally before taking a decision on whether the complaint merits formal investigation.

The latest report states “During 2016/17 three complaints were received of which two were concluded and one is on-going and the outcome will be reported in 2017/18. Additionally the 8 complaints brought forward from the previous period were concluded. One case has been referred to a Hearings Sub-Committee which is due to meet on 22 September 2017 the outcome will be recorded in the 2017/18 annual report”. As it happens, the 10 cases concluded found no reason to uphold the complaints. No surprise there then! 

WLBC claims that “Appropriate articles on the work of the Committee are included in the “West Lancs Now‟ newsletter which is distributed to Councillors and Officers and for the press”. So when will we next read a copy of it?

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