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Town council rule-breakers to be reported?

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A NUMBER of Melksham Town councillors could be reported for breaking the council’s rules for disclosing confidential staffing matters.

Cllr Adrienne Westbrook has said that she is “extremely concerned” about other town councillors sharing information from recent HR committee meetings in the public domain and in the press, and has proposed that the council makes a complaint to the monitoring officer.

Raising her concerns at the town council’s HR committee meeting on Monday 5th October, cllr Westbrook explained that she felt that some councillors were in breach of ‘standing order 13’ – standing orders are rules which govern the conduct and proceedings of the council’s meetings.

The town council’s ‘standing order 13’, which refers to the council’s management of information, says, “Councillors, staff, the council’s contractors and agents shall not disclose confidential information or personal data without legal justification.”

In response to cllr Westbrook’s concerns, the town clerk, Linda Roberts, explained, “They are the council’s agreed standing orders and it is custom and practice and also local government law that confidential matters relating to staff are kept confidential. And everyone should be bound by confidentiality.”

At the meeting it was proposed by cllr Westbrook that a motion be brought to the next full town council meeting, that the council makes a complaint to the monitoring officer, referring the councillors in question to be investigated.

The move follows a series of increasingly bitter rows between councillors revolving around the suspension of council staff and how the issue has been handled.

The next full town council meeting is currently scheduled for Monday 16th November.

One Response to Town council rule-breakers to be reported?

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