Agenda item

Consideration of a report in respect of Code of Conduct complaint BCP132 - Exempt business

Exempt information – Category 1 (Information relating to any individual) and category 2 (Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual).


The Committee agreed a procedure for the meeting with the objective of making a finding of fact; a decision on whether the Code of Conduct had been breached and, if applicable, a decision on any sanctions which should be applied.

The Committee considered in detail the report of the independent investigator and there was the opportunity to raise specific questions of the investigator about her report.

The complainant Councillor addressed the Committee.

The Committee retired, with the Independent Persons and with the Monitoring Officer and with the Head of Legal Services to consider their decision.

After a period of deliberation, the Committee reconvened in open business.

The Chair of the Committee reported that, during confidential (Exempt) business the Committee had given very careful consideration to the complaint and to all the evidence submitted to the Committee and given particular consideration to all of the recommendations made by the independent investigator. The Chair reported that the Committee had considered, in turn, each of the relevant provisions of those parts of the Code as highlighted by the investigator.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct

RESOLVED that the Standards Committee considers that

a)     Code of Conduct provision 1.1 (I treat other councillors and members of the public with respect).

The subject Councillor was in breach of this part of the Code in that he failed to treat other Councillors with respect; did not show courtesy to Councillors by not emailing ward Councillors or advising other members of Council and that he involved activists.

b)    Code of Conduct provision 1.3 (I treat local authority employees, employees and representatives of partner organisations and those volunteering for the local authority with respect and respect the role they play).

The subject Councillor was not in breach of this part of the Code.

c)     Code of Conduct provision 3.1 (I do not compromise, or attempt to compromise, the impartiality of anyone who works for, or on behalf of, the local authority).

The subject Councillor was in breach of this part of the Code for the reasons set out by the independent investigator.

d)    Code of Conduct provision 5.1 (I do not bring my role or local authority into disrepute).

The subject Councillor was in breach of this part of the Code for the reasons set out by the independent investigator.

e)     Code of Conduct provision 6.1 (I do not use, or attempt to use, my position improperly to the advantage or disadvantage of myself or anyone else).

The subject Councillor was in breach of this part of the Code for the reasons set out by the independent investigator.

f)      Code of Conduct provision 7.1 and 7.2 (I do not misuse council resources and I will, when using the resources of the local authority or authorising their use by others:(a) act in accordance with the local authority's requirements; and (b) ensure that such resources are not used for political purposes unless that use could reasonably be regarded as likely to facilitate, or be conducive to, the discharge of the functions of the local authority or of the office to which I have been elected or appointed).

The subject Councillor was in breach of this part of the Code. This was a Politically motivated mis-use of resources through emails in support of a campaign.

Voting – Unanimous

Findings and sanctions


a)     That Councillor Mark Anderson (‘the subject Councillor’) has breached the Council’s Code of Conduct on a number of serious points and has acted in a Politically motivated way to try to gain Political advantage ahead of a local election;

b)    That the subject Councillor has abused his position as a member of this Council and therefore we would express our concern and dissatisfaction about his conduct and therefore apply the following sanctions:

                            i.           That it be recommended to the Leader of Council that the subject Councillor be removed from the Cabinet and his portfolio responsibilities;

                          ii.           That the subject Councillor makes an ‘in person’ apology to full Council on 21 March 2023.

c)     That the Monitoring Officer arranges for refresher training on the Council’s Code of Conduct to be delivered to all Councillors as soon as is reasonably possible;

d)    That the above training be specifically provided for the subject councillor and those Councillors and officers referred to in paragraph 8 (Method of Investigation) of the independent investigator’s report.

Voting – Unanimous


The Chair advised the Committee that there were other areas of concern that the Committee had, not relating directly to the complaint, and that they would accordingly be asking the Chief Executive to conduct a though investigation around the matters that were of concern to them.