Council Leader Ordered To Apologise

THE leader of the district council has been ordered to apologise to a member of the public after it was ruled he had breached the councillor’s code of conduct by being disrespectful to her.

THE leader of the district council has been ordered to apologise to a member of the public after it was ruled he had breached the councillor’s code of conduct by being disrespectful to her.

At a meeting of the district council’s standards committee held in Ely on Monday a panel upheld a complaint alleging that Littleport councillor Fred Brown had failed to treat a member of the public with respect and ordered him to write a letter of apology to the woman within two weeks.

The complaint dates back to a meeting of the strategic development committee held in January where Haddenham resident Alan James, took offence at a remark made by Cllr Brown to a written question read out at the meeting.

The question, submitted by an Ely resident who had recently moved to the city, queried whether more houses should be built in the city before infrastructure was in place to support them.

Councillor Brown was reported by Mr James and one other witness at the meeting to have said “She hasn’t lived here very long has she - about a year is it? Well if she have lived here a bit longer, she would know how we do things here.”

A complaint was made by Mr James in light of the meeting and an investigation was ordered. The subsequent investigation ruled that Mr Brown had a case to answer for the incident but two other parts of the complaint were dismissed.

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Speaking at the meeting, Mr James said: “I think that when you have a city that is growing at the same pace as Ely you are going to have a lot of new residents.

“These residents should certainly not be belittled by a councillor, they should be encouraged to take part.”

Grant Osbourn, who chaired the hearing into the complaint, said: “We find that there has been a breach of the code of conduct which was a failure by councillor Brown to treat others with respect.

“We do believe that it was not the intention of councillor Brown to cause offence however, it is clear from what we have heard that offence was caused.

Speaking after the meeting, cllr Brown told the Ely Standard that he was awaiting official confirmation of the panel’s decision and therefore was not in a position to make a comment.

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