Councillor cleared of code breach

CELIA WIGG A Breckland councillor who refused to leave a meeting during which a complaint against him was discussed has been cleared of breaching the code of conduct for councillors.

CELIA WIGG

A Breckland councillor who refused to leave a meeting during which a complaint against him was discussed has been cleared of breaching the code of conduct for councillors.

It was alleged that Adrian Stasiak failed to withdraw from a council meeting on August 3 2006 in which he had a prejudicial interest.

The minutes of the meeting included an item relating to an earlier report by the Standards Board of England into Mr Stasiak's conduct. He had declared an interest in the item, as required.

During the discussions the district solicitor said he had to refer to the report and advised Mr Stasiak to leave - but he refused. This resulted in a complaint to the Standards Board of England, whose findings have now been announced.

The ethical standards officer considered that Mr Stasiak - a former chairman of the council who lives in Attleborough - had a personal interest in the report.

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However, the report was only raised at the meeting to clarify guidance being offered to councillors on the code of conduct. They were not making any decision on the merits of the report.

The ethical standards officer concluded that Mr Stasiak did not have a prejudicial interest in the matter, which meant he did not have to leave the meeting. There was no evidence that he had failed to comply with the code.

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