Watchdogs probe two year feud

COMPTON Bishop Parish Council is being investigated by watchdogs after a two-year dispute with a resident. Chris Byrne, who lives in

COMPTON Bishop Parish Council is being investigated by watchdogs after a two-year dispute with a resident.Chris Byrne, who lives in comedian Frankie Howerd's old home, Wavering Down House, in Webbington Road, Cross, claims the council has not treated him with respect, has not allowed him to speak at meetings and has tried to stop the regular open days at his house.But council clerk Michael Tobin said the council is not worried by the investigation being carried out by the Standards Board for England. He claims members have done nothing wrong and is confident the investigation will show that.Mr Byrne, who attends the council meetings religiously, said: "It's been a long standing complaint dating back to 2005."I criticised something in the council minutes and it's been a witch-hunt ever since. I'm sad I've had to take it this far but it's because of the council's behaviour and its lack of respect for members of the community. "When I tried to speak at a council meeting, members asked me to put it in writing, but they let other people speak. All I ever wanted was an apology. That is why I've involved the standards board to bring them to task."Mr Byrne said the council had told enforcement officers he had not had cones and marshals at his home during open days, but Mr Byrne said he always abides by the planning regulations. Mr Byrne made four complaints to the standards board, which investigates complaints of misconduct made against local authorities, but only one is being looked into further.Mr Tobin said: "The investigation doesn't mean anything. It simply means they can't dismiss the matter on the basis of the information that they have. We've had several complaints from Mr Byrne, one of which is now being investigated. It doesn't worry the council in the least."Mr Byrne attends all the parish council meetings but I wouldn't dream of saying what the relationship of the council is with him. The parish council is not concerned because once the further information is established then this complaint will be dismissed, as the others have been."Mr Byrne has complained about the council nine times, but this is the first time an investigation has taken place. The result is due to be announced in eight weeks.


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