Friday Brief: Councillors accused of racism, aggressive behaviour and bullying
Complaints made against councillors, some news in brief, the latest from Westminster and some things for the weekend
Thankfully after the high temperatures we had in the county earlier this week things have now cooled down.
We sent a piece to our paying supporters earlier this week in which we heard from climate change activists who are hoping the record breaking temperatures (it hit 40.1 degrees at Pitsford) will be a wake up call to residents. This article is now available for everyone to read.
Complaints made against councillors in West Northants revealed
Racism, aggressive behaviour and bullying are just some of the accusations made against councillors in West Northamptonshire in the past year.
A report written for the democracy and standards committee in the West says that 16 complaints have been made to the monitoring officer regarding the conduct of councillors.
There were three accusations of racism within parish councils, one which included a complaint about online bullying and another which included allegations of aggressive behaviour during a meeting. Each of these cases are still pending an outcome.
Three accusations of disrespectful behaviour were made, with two relating to unitary councillors and one to a parish councillor. In another complaint, two parish councillors are said to have used threatening behaviour. These are also live cases which have not yet been resolved.
Other cases include complaints relating to the completion of the register of interests form, an alleged undeclared conflict of interest in a planning matter and social media activity.
In June the Labour group put forward a motion calling on the council to ‘reassert the importance’ of the Nolan principles which set out the ethical standards those working in the public sector are expected to adhere to. The motion said:
“These principles guide not only how decisions and functions are carried out by elected members, but also how they treat officers, the public and their colleagues.”
The motion passed but the party was criticised by some Conservatives for ‘political point scoring’ suggesting it had only been brought forward to make a dig at Boris Johnson’s behaviour. Leader of WNC, Jonathan Nunn said at the time:
“I think councillors on all sides do abide by these…the Nolan principles are baked in, they’re in our code of conduct. I think this valuable opposition speaking slot is not being used to bring new ideas or challenge the council, rather it appears to be used to poke Boris Johnson in the eye…it’s a wasted opportunity.”
The Nolan principles are: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
News in brief
A man was stabbed with a knife after a group of people forced their way into a property in Barton Seagrave on Tuesday night. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening and two men have been arrested. Police are asking for anyone with information about the incident which took place on Leeson Crescent to contact 101.
More than 1,000 people turned out to the Community Festival for Save Weekley Hall Wood held in Kettering at the weekend. Stallholder Josie Evans said: “It was wonderful to be part of such a friendly, important and well-organised event. The performers were excellent and the Pleasure Park is, as always, a beautiful backdrop for any event. It was also an important reminder that the people of Kettering care deeply about our town and its meadow/woodland. The number of Save Weekley Hall Wood t-shirts was astonishing.”
The battle to save the woodland from a huge planning application by the Duke of Buccleuch’s company is continuing.
There was both celebration and disappointment among the county’s Conservative MPs this week as the contest for the next prime minister was whittled down to two.
Andrea Leadsom MP for South Northamptonshire was a key supporter of Penny Morduant who was knocked out in the last round of voting and Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer’s favoured candidate Kemi Badenoch was eliminated on Tuesday.
Rishi Sunak the former chancellor and Liz Truss will now go head to head in a number of TV debates and party members will be able to choose the next leader over the summer.
Despite regularly supporting Boris Johnson in parliament over recent months, Northampton North MP and paymaster general Michael Ellis is supporting Rishi Sunak. Many Johnson loyalists blame the former chancellor for the prime minister’s downfall with reports suggesting Johnson is urging people to ‘back anyone but Rishi’.
Meanwhile an article written for the Express newspaper by three MPs including Corby’s Tom Pursglove set out why they were backing Liz Truss.
“At this critical moment, Liz is the leader our party and our great country needs: serious in her vision of where the nation should be in the future, and serious in her determination to deliver it. Together, we can turn the UK into an aspirational nation and keep it standing tall on the world stage,” the article said.
Although they haven’t yet said who they are backing out of the two, it is thought Wellingborough MP Peter Bone and Kettering’s Philip Hollobone will also vote for Truss to be the next prime minister.
🎉A family festival is happening at Glamis Hall in Wellingborough tomorrow from 10am to 3pm. There’ll be a seaside theme with donkey rides and candyfloss.
🎤Depeche Mode tribute act The Devout are performing at the Picturedrome in Kettering, Road Northampton tomorrow from 9pm.
🎨An arts workshop for 8-14 year olds is being held tomorrow at the Wellingborough African Caribbean Association in Rock Street, Wellingborough from 11am-12pm