DCSIMG

Mayor's code of conduct breach

MAYOR of Doncaster Peter Davies has been disciplined by his own council for failing to declare an interest in a pressure group.

Mr Davies did not reveal his membership of the Campaign Against Political Correctness when he filled in forms put in place to ensure transparent government.

But he later invited the group to act as advisers to him at the council.

A hearing called to look at the matter yesterday confirmed he had breached the council's code of conduct and officially censured him over the matter.

But the Standards Determination Sub Committee stopped short of suspending him - a move which is within its powers.

The hearing follows a legal investigation into the matter.

Mr Davies declined to attend the hearing at Mansion House yesterday.

Lawyer Jonathan Goolden, from the firm which carried out the investigation, Wilkin, Chapman, Goolden, told the hearing Mr Davies was elected last June with no previous experience of elected office, and completed the official register of interests 10 days later.

He included his membership of the English Democrats on the form. But no mention was made of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, even though he later confirmed during an investigation that he had been a founder member of the organisation.

Mr Davies had told the investigation there was no payment to the Campaign Against Political Correctness for its involvement with Doncaster Council.

Mr Davies added the organisation to his register of interests after an interview with investigating officer Hazel Salisbury, this February.

He also declared his membership of separate organisations the Campaign for an Independent Britain and the Freedom Association.

Ms Salisbury said: "Mayor Davies indicated that he had not been properly advised by officers on what he was required to register.

"However, it is a member's responsibility to declare the appropriate interests, which are listed in the code of conduct which the mayor undertook to comply with.

"It is not the responsibility of officers to identify those interests."

Mr Goolden urged the committee to take into consideration the mayor's high-profile position within English local government and the importance of transparency in decision making.

Committee chairman Phillip Beavers said: "We know on the balance of probabilities there has been a breach in the code of conduct.

"The mitigating factors are that Mr Davies claimed that he was not appropriately advised and he corrected the breach when he was made aware of it. He recognised that he had failed to follow the code of conduct.

"The aggravating factors are the length of time it took to register the interest and we need to take into account that he blamed others for his failing to follow the code of conduct.

"He has responsibility on his own shoulders."

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He recognised that he had failed to follow the code of conduct."

"The aggravating factors are the length of time it took to register the interest and we need to take into account that he blamed others for his failing to follow the code of conduct.

"He has responsibility on his own shoulders."

David Kessen

david kessen

News Reporter

The aggravating factors are length of time it took to register the interest

Censured: Elected mayor Peter Davies did not reveal his membership in a pressure group.

 
 
 

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