Thursday, November 08, 2007

End of the Affair?

Another letter this morning from my friends at the Standards Board for England, following a complaint made against me by "Hylton Owen".

It was alleged that I "showed complete disregard for the rules" by using my mobile phone to give a progress report about the count to people not present. I see Hylton went to the trouble of getting witness statements from fellow Yes campaigners present at the count.

All for naught, I'm afraid, as the Standards Board has ruled that I was present at the Count in a personal capacity and not as a Councillor, the Councillors' Code of Conduct has no jurisdiction.

In fact, from memory, if I did use my phone at the Count, it was simply to contact work and inform them that I was on my way. I did however use my phone to blog remotely about the Count, to keep readers informed about progress. More generally, when the referendum campaign started, I had intended to blog on the issue via computers other than my Council laptop, to stay strictly within the rules regarding the use of Council resources.

I have to say that sometimes my enthusiasm got the better of me, and on occasions I did blog directly from my laptop (or my phone) about the campaign. A couple of weeks ago (before I got wind of the Standards Board complaint I should add) I formally wrote to the Chief Executive and apologised for this.

For all the huffing and puffing from members of the Yes campaign sore after their defeat, I hope that the ruling from the Standards Board marks the end of this affair. In so many ways, with the exception of a few bitter letters in the Northern Echo, it's clear that the rest of the town is moving on.


Ian White, said...

Sad about the result, but yes I have moved on Nick, Its the same everywhere now if you do or say something someone disagrees with its a letter to the standards board, It would appear some people (no names) have taken out a life time subscription, the amount of times I hear the threat of the Standards Board "bandied about".

My source say's it was not you that was the problem anyway!

ian holme said...

I agree with "other" Ians views on this.
In fact, I thought it a good thing that you were reporting on the counts progress.

I am just curious on one point though, which is,you were not present in your capacity as a councillor, but in a personal capacity. Does this mean that any individual constituent had the right to be present?

If so, this is a different rule to that applied to local elections.

Just interested

Anonymous said...

Good to see these ex-yes losers aren't just kicking cats and being bitter!

Anonymous said...

End of the affair? November 08.

Since when did you decide not to post comments given on the Elected Mayor issue?

One WAS sent to you. but your computer was down that night, You said!

It was commenting on your glee at the Standards Board not being able to touch you for breaking the law on releasing information on the ongoing count to people outside the count.

Do you really not read the rules Nick/

and why are the Council powers that be not nmaking you adhere to the rules?

or even the Democratic servbices department and the borough solicitor who witnessed what you did on the day of the count and have the evidence clearly on your website with times logged for them.

Why have the police not stepped in?

The elecoral commission, even.

or the Ministry of Justice.

I would like this comment to be published on your firt page please not lost in the archive.

It is, after all, about time that this story was commented on by the voters of Darlington.