by Alan Dean on 9 December, 2020
In my over 34 years as a councillor at Uttlesford District Council, I have not witnessed worse behaviour by councillors than occurred last night (Tues, December 8th).
All Residents for Uttlesford councillors, together with their four ‘independent’ allies, acted badly by failing to vote to reaffirm the Council’s commitment to the twenty-five-year-old Standards of Conduct in Public Life Principles viz. Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.
Some even voted to suppress discussion on the subject. Several Members were prevented from speaking in support for these principles; akin to behaviour under a totalitarian regime. There was much barracking from R4U Members that was improperly permitted.
Those who failed to live up to these foundational principles of good public service even included the Chairman of the Council, Cllr Martin Foley.
The Council’s Code of Conduct system is in tatters. I have this morning resigned from the Council’s Standards Committee until Uttlesford restores its reputation for observing Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.
I was one of those councillors denied the opportunity to speak because of weak chairmanship that kow-towed to the authoritarian demands from Residents for Uttlesford (the majority party in authoritarian control) councillors to suppress discussion on the grounds that they wanted to get on with voting against these ethical standards and weren’t interested in hearing what those who believe in them had to say. The chairman failed to follow the constitutional requirement to consider whether “the item has been sufficiently discussed”. He should have known better. He received poor officer advice.
Here are some key points from the speech I was prevented from giving: