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Full report on council conduct to stay confidential

10:12 14 July 2014

Archant

The full version of a report looking in to behaviour and conduct at Ottery Town Council will remain confidential after two councillors objected to its contents being made public.

A limited version of the report, which relates to a long-running row about an alleged breach of council rules by Councillor Roger Giles, was published in March.

However the full document, which was drawn up by East Devon District Council’s monitoring officer, was never released - despite a move by ten of the council’s 12 members to have it published.

Addressing civic leaders at a meeting on Monday, resident Philip Algar said he was unhappy that a minority of councillors had effectively vetoed the full report being made public.

“I think many people would agree that this is a very unsatisfactory conclusion,” he added. “Rightly or wrongly, the reputation of your council has been severely damaged by this protracted affair.”

Mayor Glyn Dobson said that it was the decision of East Devon District Council’s monitoring officer - not the town council - that the report remain confidential.

A total of 24 complaints were made against town council practices and the actions of individual councillors following the row which began following a planning meeting in November, in which Cllr Giles was publically accused of flouting confidentially rules.

A spokesman for EDDC said: “It has been the Monitoring Officer’s contention all along – and still remains so – that it would be inappropriate to publish the report.

“She does not consider it to be in the best interests of the Town Council at Ottery and some of the details within the report are confidential and should remain so.”

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