Apologise to Roger Giles

The recently released report by the EDDC monitoring officer (Mrs Lyon) is a damning indictment of the conduct of Ottery St Mary town councillors at meetings and the treatment of Councillor Roger Giles.

Mrs Lyon held that the fact that a private briefing was proposed between councillors and a developer was not confidential information (as the council maintained) and that Cllr Giles was justified in informing EDDC councillor Claire Wright of the proposed briefing.

Mrs Lyon also decided that members of the Ottery Town Council were wrong in discussing Cllr Giles’s action (which could have lead to his suspension) at a public meeting rather than in private, and the subsequent vote in the December meeting was an unfair process with very little evidence of natural justice.

The report urged councillors to “reflect on events and their behaviour and recommends that they go for training on the conduct of council business”.

Will they follow this advice I wonder? It is in the public interest that they do so.

The fact remains that although all complaints levelled against Cllr Giles were dismissed, the full version of the report has not been published. Cllr Giles has been accused and humiliated by certain members of the council in public, but has been exonerated in private.

Surely he deserves a public apology from these councillors who were so quick to accuse him in a vote in a public meeting? Is it too much to hope that they will be man (or woman) enough to do so?

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Margaret Hutchesson

Tipton St John