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  • The Rother Alliance

Integrity in public life

Following recent unevidenced allegations published on social media, the Rother Alliance feels it is important to voice our support for the staff of Rother District Council in their robust and proper handling of complaints procedures. We are proud that Rother takes its code of conduct responsibilities seriously and satisfied that decisions are made on individual cases with the utmost care and attention towards truth and decency in public life.

Since the 2019 Local Elections, the Rother Alliance has pursued an agenda of increased transparency on Rother District Council. Whether it is live streaming public meetings, additional public representation in planning or modernising the Council’s constitution. In particular, we are strong advocates for the 1995 Nolan principles of public life (selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership).

The code of conduct complaints monitoring report presented at Rother District Council’s recent Audit and Standards Committee meeting on 5th December 2022 details that a Bexhill Town Councillor had been found in breach of the code of conduct and found to have “bullied, harassed, intimidated and showed a lack of respect to the Town Clerk.” We stand by the decision of the Council’s Monitoring Officer as well as the diligent work of the Council’s Independent Persons and those involved in this investigation, an investigation that cost taxpayers £3,000. As a political coalition broadly formed around shared principles of local representation and democracy, and the administration responsible for establishing Bexhill’s Town Council back in 2019, we are shocked and appalled that anyone would betray the position bestowed on them by members of the public by seemingly treating the principles of public life with such contempt. We denounce the claims of the former Town Councillor that improper processes were followed and note, as the Audit and Standards report acknowledges, that further actions were unable to transpire in this case due to the decision of the ex-Councillor to have “resigned as a Bexhill Town Councillor” upon receipt of the independent report.

Residents of Rother can be assured that the Rother Alliance will always strive to uphold our positions with integrity, honesty and respect. Bullying, harassment and intimidation have no place in public life or anywhere else.

You can read the Code of Conduct Report here and watch the recording of the Audit and Standards Meeting here.


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