Tag Archives: standards board

That’s the way to do it! How Liberal Democrats made the running on the Localism Bill

Annette Brooke MP and Lord (Graham) Tope are the Lib Dem Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Policy Committee on Communities and Local Government, and led the Lib Dem response to the Localism Bill. Here they outline what they, working with colleagues in the party and many beyond, helped achieve.

Last night the Localism Bill completed its final stage in Parliament and is set to become law when it achieves Royal Assent next week.

As Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Policy Committee on Communities and Local Government, it has been our job over the last ten months to lead on the Bill for the party. We’ve helped shepherd it through both Houses of Parliament, and have led a Lib Dem team that in many ways has made the running on the Bill.

We’ve had strong engagement with Coalition ministers, who engaged with us constructively, particularly Greg Clark, Baroness Hanham and our very own Andrew Stunell, who was very helpful and willing to work together with us to improve the Bill considerably.

Colleagues in local government were also a constant source of help and good ideas, which never ceased to better inform our Bill team as the process went on.

Where we started from: “a good bill in theory, with several flaws in practice”

When it was first introduced, I think many Liberal Democrats would agree that it was a good bill in theory, with several flaws in practice.

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 13 Comments

Jason Kitcat: update on the councillor facing censure for using YouTube

A quick update on my post about Brighton Green councillor Jason Kitcat, who is facing disciplinary action over putting footage of a council meeting up on YouTube. He’s posted the latest news over on his blog, and it is good to see that he is getting support from across the political spectrum:

ConservativeHome’s local government blog had yesterday posted a supportive piece which Local Government Minister Grant Shapps MP then tweeted a link to, adding his own view:

Surely no justification for reporting a Cllr who seeks to promote openness to the Standards Board

Indeed! The comments on the ConservativeHome piece are

Posted in Local government, News and Online politics | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment

Councillor faces standards censure for posting council meeting footage on YouTube

Brighton & Hove City Council webcasts many of its meetings and makes the footage available for people to watch again afterwards. Cllr Jason Kitcat (Green) extracted from the footage examples of himself asking questions, put the footage on YouTube and blogged about the questions on his own site.

He only used footage the council has already made available, he didn’t alter the footage and he had a good reason for using his own copy rather than the council’s original (because at the time the council’s way of presenting the footage made it hard for people to go direct to a specific …

Posted in Local government, News and Online politics | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Once is a misfortune, but twice …? The Tory councillor who’s a repeat offender

Six months ago Lib Dem Voice featured Mrs Christine Roberts, a Tory councillor in the Cotswolds who landed herself in hot water after publicly labelling her Lib Dem opponents “morons”, and then refusing to apologise. Well, it turns out this wasn’t the first time she’d made gratutiously insults – only on the other occasions it was her residents who complained of her behaviour.

The local paper reports:

FORMER Fairford mayor Chris Roberts has been found guilty of breaching the councillors code of conduct following her involvement in the Village Green saga. … Fairford Environmental Societ members Suzanne Jones and

Posted in Local government | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Peter Chegwyn wins High Court appeal against Standards Board

Last summer we reported that Peter Chegwyn, Lib Dem leader on Gosport Council, had been banned from being a councillor on both Gosport Council and Hampshire County Council for two years in a dispute over a local music festival.

However, Peter Chegwyn has taken that Standards Board ruling to the Hight Court and this week won a significant set of victories. The two-year disqualification from Hampshire County Council was quashed completely. The two-year disqualification from Gosport Borough Council was quashed and replaced by a two-month suspension, and the Judge ordered the Standards Board for England to pay Peter Chegwyn’s full costs.

The Judge …

Posted in Local government | Also tagged , and | 12 Comments

Tory councillor’s racist comments censured

Here’s what a Conservative borough councillor Smith Benson said at a public meeting in Colne, Pendle, last year:

The problem with Colne is that there are too many takeaways. And too many Pakis, that’s why people don’t come to Colne.”

His comment to the Colne town centre regeneration forum – and which he repeated in the meeting when asked to clarify his remarks – led Lib Dem councillor Tony Greaves to complain that Cllr Benson had breached the local authority’s code of conduct: this has been upheld, and the matter has now been referred to Pendle Council’s standards committee.

The BBC reports:

The

Posted in Local government | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

“Tory councillor expelled after rape remarks” – but why involve the standards committee?

The Press Association reports:

A city councillor has been expelled from the Conservative Party after making offensive remarks about rape at a meeting.

Eddie Wake, 56, a Tory councillor at Sunderland City Council, is alleged to have made the remarks at a meeting of the authority and left one woman in tears.

Conservative party chiefs said comments by Washington South member Mr Wake, at the end of a meeting with police about a rape prevention campaign, were “totally unacceptable”…

Group leader Lee Martin told the BBC: “When I ask anyone to go out and vote for a Conservative candidate, I’ve got a

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

The Tory councillors who labelled their Lib Dem opponents “morons” refuse to apologise

Moron: it’s not exactly a nice word. Definitions include “a person of subnormal intelligence” and the more psychologically precise “a person having an intelligence quotient of between 50 and 70”. Many of us might have used the term, but it’s one generally best kept out of civilised political discourse.

Tory councillors in the Cotswolds take a different view, as the BBC reports:

Councillors dubbed “morons” by rivals via social networking site Facebook say they may report the insult to the local government watchdog. Cotswold District Council leader Lynden Stowe and fellow Tory Chris Roberts said Lib Dem rivals “have a

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 21 Comments

Ambulance-chasing, Colin Rosentiel, the Standards Board, and our loss of civic pride

Some may feel I’m asking for trouble by highlighting for a second day running the case of Colin Rosentiel, the Lib Dem Cambridge city councillor who allegedly blocked an ambulance on an emergency call to protect some common land. But, having reported the story here yesterday, it prompts a wider question than the rights and wrongs of an individual councillor.

A couple of folk linked in the comments thread to the report of Cambridge city council’s monitoring officer to its standards committee – you can read it in full here. And I mean in full – it’s …

Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 11 Comments

Lib Dem councillor accused over ambulance

Plenty of media coverage today of Lib Dem Cambridge city councillor Colin Rosentiel following a complaint made against him to the Standards Board for England – the Telegraph’s account is the most detailed I’ve seen:

Liberal Democrat councillor Colin Rosenstiel stopped the vehicle as crews tried to reach an injured person at a summer festival on common land in Cambridge. Mr Rosenstiel rode his bicycle into the path of the ambulance, blocking the entrance, and refused to budge because he claimed cars were not allowed on the grass.

The emergency crew eventually manoeuvred around him but, on leaving the ground, after

Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged | 26 Comments
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