Ryedale District Council vice-chairman’s apology for breach of code of conduct (From Gazette & Herald)
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Ryedale District Council vice-chairman’s apology for breach of code of conduct
12:29pm Wednesday 7th August 2013 in News
THE vice-chairman of Ryedale District Council has apologised for breaking a council code of practice over a planning application.
Coun Ann Hopkinson (Con) refused to leave a planning committee meeting on Monday, July 29, when an application for a business of which she is a shareholder came up for discussion.
Now the councillor for Malton, who was in the planning committee meeting as substitute for another member, has written to the Gazette & Herald with an apology for her actions.
She said: “I could have said that I would no longer continue as a planning sub and that I would cross the floor and sit in the audience. That would have been OK. But I did not. So I apologise for not following the rules of the constitution.”
But Coun Hopkinson could still face disciplinary action.
Janet Waggott, the council’s chief executive, said the matter would be investigated.
In a statement, she said: “There is a clear planning code of conduct and Ryedale District Council’s constitution makes it explicit that a council member who has a discloseable pecuniary interest must register the interest and take no part in the decision making and leave the room while the item is being discussed. This matter is being investigated by the council’s monitoring officer.”
The council leader, Coun Linda Cowling, has confirmed action could also be taken by the Conservative Party group but did not reveal what the party group’s actions could be.