Search

Council takes no action in ‘conflict of interest’ complaint about leader

PUBLISHED: 18:22 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 18:22 20 February 2020

Shaun Vincent, leader of Broadland District Council, declared his work as a consultant at a cabinet meeting. Photo: Broadland District Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk District Council

Shaun Vincent, leader of Broadland District Council, declared his work as a consultant at a cabinet meeting. Photo: Broadland District Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk District Council

Archant

A council leader accused of breaching the code of conduct for allegedly failing to disclose an interest will face no further action from the authority.

Potential sites in the draft plan include 1,200 homes at the former Colman’s site in Norwich, 1,200 homes near White House Farm in Sprowston, some 1,400 homes on land between Fir Covert Road and Reepham Road near Thorpe Marriott. Photo: Broadland District Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk District CouncilPotential sites in the draft plan include 1,200 homes at the former Colman’s site in Norwich, 1,200 homes near White House Farm in Sprowston, some 1,400 homes on land between Fir Covert Road and Reepham Road near Thorpe Marriott. Photo: Broadland District Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk District Council

In September 2016, Broadland District Council leader Shaun Vincent was elected chairman of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) board, which is responsible for delivering a plan for growth in Greater Norwich over the next two decades.

But at a meeting of Broadland's cabinet last month, Mr Vincent declared an interest in "promoting on behalf of the landowner a site for residential development through the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP)", due to his work as a consultant.

And following the declaration, a complaint was made to Broadland council's monitoring officer alleging the Conservative leader had not declared the interest before being elected chairman.

READ MORE: Council leader discloses role in 'promoting' land for development vision

Shaun Vincent, Broadland District Council leader, is chairman of the GNDP. Photo: Broadland District CouncilShaun Vincent, Broadland District Council leader, is chairman of the GNDP. Photo: Broadland District Council

Jan Davis, a parish councillor in Cantley, complained to monitoring officer Emma Hodds on Friday, February 14, and said: "I'm not suggesting that Shaun Vincent has used and abused his position but it's about being transparent."

Mr Davis, an election agent in the Great Yarmouth Green Party, said he submitted the complaint as a resident, and added: "Such a conflict of interest should rule him out of the position of chair."

However, in a written response to his complaint, governance officer Sara Utting said Mr Vincent was advised to declare the interest in promoting the land in Colney ahead of the next GNDP meeting and read out a statement at the meeting in November 2016 and at subsequent meetings.

You may also want to watch:

She added that Mr Vincent "would not have any involvement in the determination" of planning applications as the site was in the South Norfolk council area.

READ MORE: People urged to have say on where thousands of homes could be built

A council spokesman said: "A code of conduct complaint was received about the leader with regards to a conflict of interest.

"The code deals with declarations of interest not conflicts of interest.

"The GNDP is not a decision making body, and any decisions required are made by each respective planning authority.

"Mr Vincent reads a statement at each GNDP meeting in order to be open and transparent and this was the agreed approach following his election as chairman in 2016."

"No further action is being taken at this point in time."

Mr Vincent was contacted for comment but did not respond.

READ MORE: Councils slammed as 'appalling' for barring public from secret meetings


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press