Cllr calls for review into investigation over his conduct

The councillor who broke the code of conduct by making an Ottery representative cry at a meeting has hit back at the investigation into him.

Meanwhile the East Devon Green Party (EDGP), whose policy co-ordinator Emily McIvor made the complaint, welcomed the news Mike Allen had been found guilty on six counts by the Standards Committee

Mr Allen, the former chairman of the Local Plan panel at East Devon District Council (EDDC), released a statement declaring he was cleared of any misuse of power or personal advantage.

“But only in three instances, over the 13 detailed meetings I chaired, was I found to have made minor errors by not treating Councillor Roger Giles with respect,” he added.

The Honiton representative said he has no wish to appeal, but said EDDC’s Cabinet has reviewed the findings of the investigator Tim Darsley into his conduct ‘with considerable concern for their fairness’.

He said: “I am calling on the Chair of Standards Committee Peter Halse for a thorough review of the inspector and two officers’ behaviour, since they contradicted legal opinions of the Principal Legal Officer and the common practises by which chairs in the council control meetings.”

Mr Allen was found to have breached the council code six times by a Standards Committee hearing last Friday, which included not treating Councillor Claire Wright with respect.

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He questioned her declarations of interest at the Local Plan meetings, leaving her feeling ‘humiliated’.

Mr Allen was also found to have failed to treat Cllr Giles with respect on two occasions, and the Standards Committee said his actions as chairman, which Mr Darsely described as ‘controlling’, twice brought his office into disrepute.

He was ordered to apologise to the council, but escaped harsher sanction after it was recommended he serve a period of suspension for ‘the serious and multiple breaches of the council code’.

Mrs McIvor, however, welcomed the result of the hearing into his compliant against the former Local Plan chair.

She said: “The behaviour of the Tory appointee who chaired the Panel has restricted the process of democratic review and compromised the integrity of the draft Local Plan.”

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