Mayor apologises for failing to treat fellow councillor with courtesy and respect
PUBLISHED: 12:27 12 March 2019
The Mayor of Ottery has apologised to another councillor after it was alleged he broke the council’s code of conduct.
The mayor, Councillor Paul Bartlett, announced at a meeting last Monday (March 4) that he had been contacted by the monitoring officer over a complaint received from Cllr Roger Giles, that claimed he had breached the council’s code of conduct.
The complaint relates to an incident at the November meeting when Cllr Bartlett read out an anonymous letter which was critical of Cllr Giles and other district councillors.
The letter was from a parishioner who had made comments about a meeting at the council offices with local traders.
The parishioner commented on the poor attendance of some town councillors and considered that their actions belittled the efforts of the council which lead to the meeting being under attended.
Cllr Giles was angry that the identity of the writer of the letter was not revealed, however the mayor advised that the guidance he had obtained via the clerk suggested that as the parishioner was providing feedback from a public meeting it was acceptable for the letter to be read out.
The letter was read out in an open session where members of the public and press were present.
Upon reading out the complaint, Cllr Giles said neither the complained nor the complainant should have been made known publicly, and that to do so was a breach of council procedures.
Cllr Bartlett told the meeting he had cleared the announcement with the monitoring officer, but apologised to Cllr Giles – an apology the latter accepted.
The mayor, in turn, call on Cllr Giles to apologise to the council for turning up late at the January council meeting without giving any reason or apology.
Cllr Giles said he was not aware that he turned up late but Cllr Bartlett said it was minuted.
He said had he been given advanced notice he could have looked to see where he was and that his ‘whole life does not revolve around the Ottery Town Council meetings’.
He said he was sure he was not the only one to have arrived late but Cllr Bartlett said most who turn up late give a reason.
The matter was resolved with Cllr Bartlett accepting that Cllr Giles was not willing to apologise and moving the meeting on to the next item.