North Norfolk district councillor Russell Wright cleared of alleged breach of conduct

North Norfolk District Counillor Russell Wright. Picture: Sabah Meddings

North Norfolk District Counillor Russell Wright. Picture: Sabah Meddings - Credit: Archant

A councillor who described his chairmanship style as 'forthright but fair' has been cleared of an alleged breach of conduct.

It was claimed North Norfolk district councillor Russell Wright had shown disrespect at a meeting with the North Norfolk Taxi and Private Hire Association in October to discuss a proposed move of the taxi rank in Cromer.

But Mr Wright claimed it had been a difficult meeting to chair because the taxi drivers were not familiar with the way business was conducted in a council meeting.

The move has since been ruled out, but taxi drivers at the meeting alleged Mr Wright had been 'biased and undemocratic'. The complaint was brought to the council's standards committee, who referred it to an independent monitoring officer.

In his defence Mr Wright said the meeting had been solely to address the issue of the taxi rank, and that he had cut someone short when they started to discuss the wider issue of the market's viability.

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He said: 'I had to raise my voice and make it quite clear that everyone had to be heard and I would ask them to speak in the order they had indicated their desire to speak.'

In a draft report, the monitoring officer highlighted that the matter was referred for investigation as to whether Mr Wright's behaviour breached the requirement to treat others with respect.

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The report's findings read: 'It appears from the minutes that the complainants were heard from councillor Wright may have robustly chaired the meeting it does not amount to disrespect.'

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