Council to publish costs of investigating councillors

RESIDENTS have demanded to know how much of taxpayers' money is being spent on 'heavy-handed' investigations into councillors' behaviour. North Somerset Council has admitted it does not keep a record of how much it costs to haul councillors in front of a

RESIDENTS have demanded to know how much of taxpayers' money is being spent on 'heavy-handed' investigations into councillors' behaviour. North Somerset Council has admitted it does not keep a record of how much it costs to haul councillors in front of a panel to be grilled about malpractice during council meetings.But after pressure from parish councils who feel the standards investigations are heavy-handed and unnecessary if councillors simply followed the rules, the authority has agreed it will disclose the full cost of the investigations in the future.Parish councillors can break the rules simply by not declaring a personal interest in an item being discussed, as it could be interpreted that theye are unfairly influencing a decision or vote.Specialist officers have to spend substantial time putting together hefty reports into councillors' behaviour when they are accused of breaking the rules.Some parish councils are worried hundreds of pounds of taxpayers' money is unnecessarily being ploughed into these investigations, which they say are often for trivial matters.There have been four investigations this year and there were three last year. North Somerset says from now on it will publish the average cost of an investigation as well as the most expensive and least expensive investigation.


You may also want to watch:


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus