Code of conduct probe costs Lancaster City Council £15k

Lancaster Town Hall
Lancaster Town Hall

An investigation into the conduct of councillors at a meeting earlier this year has cost more than £15,000.

Lancaster City Council launched an inquiry following complaints about the conduct and subsequent comments of councillors on the Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee.

In total the ongoing inquiry, which is expected to be concluded “soon”, has cost taxpayers £15,443.80.

A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said that its Monitoring Officer had received complaints alleging that the council’s Code of Conduct had been breached by certain councillors in respect of a meeting of the Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee on March 6 2017.

He said the investigation is to consider the merit of these complaints and whether the Code of Conduct had been breached.

David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, along with residents from Hest Bank and Carnforth, had demanded an investigation after Coun Roger Sherlock dozed off several times during the planning meeting at Lancaster Town Hall.
Coun Sherlock then resigned from the planning committee. Complaints were also made about Coun Margaret Pattison, who appeared to lift the snoozing Coun Sherlock’s arm to help him vote – then later told the Lancaster Guardian that Labour councillors “decide how we’re going to vote” in advance.

The council spokesperson added: “We are unable to provide any further comment until the matter has been considered by the Standards Committee.

“Once the investigation has been concluded a summary of its findings will be provided to all complainants and a report will also be produced for the council’s Standards Committee.”

The investigation is being conducted independently by CAP Business Solutions Ltd.