The Epping Forest Local Council’s Joint Standards Committee has considered a complaint made against a member of Nazeing Parish Council. Their formal decision is reproduced below:
JOINT STANDARDS COMMITTEE
EFDC Case Reference No: EFDC 5/2012 and EFDC 7/2012
JSC Case Reference No: JSC/2013/001
Subject Member: Parish Councillor Mrs Antoinette Cooper, Nazeing Parish Council
Notice is hereby given that at a meeting on 12th March 2013, a Panel of the Joint Standards Committee considered a complaint that at a meeting of the EFDC Area Planning Sub Committee West on 21st March 2012, Councillor Mrs A Cooper of Nazeing Parish Council interrupted the meeting and that her conduct breached the Member’s Code of Conduct.
The complaint arose following correspondence received from both Councillor J Wyatt, Epping Forest District Council, and Mr J Godden, Principal Planning Officer Epping Forest District Council.
Notice is further given that the Panel of the Joint Standards Committee determined that, on the balance of probabilities based on the evidence submitted, Councillor Mrs Cooper had breached the Members code of conduct as follows:
Paragraph 3(1) You must treat others with respect
Paragraph 5 You must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute.
The findings from the Panel are as follows:
That Councillor Mrs Cooper conducted herself in a manner which fell below the standard expected of a person in public office. It was clear that Mrs Cooper initially registered an interest to speak on behalf of Nazeing Parish Council and then withdrew her mandate to speak. It should be recorded that Councillor Wyatt and Mr Godden acted professionally at all times, and maintained the standard expected of a person/persons in public office. It was clear from the Investigating Officer’s report, and from the webcast recording of the meeting, that Councillor Mrs Cooper had breached the code of conduct in use at the time. The Joint Standards Committee hereby censures Mrs Cooper on these grounds. This censure in no way reflects on Nazeing Parish Council.
The Panel directs that its findings be:
1. Publicly and formally reported to Nazeing Parish Council to be considered at a full Parish Council meeting, and a copy of this notice be placed on Nazeing Parish Council’s website and parish notice boards;
2. Publicly and formally reported to Epping Forest District Council, and a copy of this notice placed on their website.
Mrs A Jones
19th March 2013
Note: Mrs Cooper is no longer a member of the Nazeing Parish Council