Three Leaders of Fenland District Council have now resigned in recent years.
Way back in 2009 Cllr Geoff Harper resigned for reasons of ‘over intrusive’ system (The then Standards Committee) – However it was ‘his’ own conservative councillors who made various accusations against him.
The Standards Committee found No case against Cllr Harper and on the 31/12/2009 he resigned.
The whole story can be read Wisbech Standard 2009
A very similar story with Cllr Alan Melton, controversy and arguments + allegations from within his own conservative group.
Quotation from the press release :
A LOCAL council watchdog today cleared Fenland Council Leader Alan Melton of allegedly bringing the authority into disrepute.
They also made it clear they felt councillors should be able express their views freely and unhindered.
The Standard Boards of England -who fast tracked the complaint by chief executive Tim Pilsbury- cleared Cllr Melton of two charges.
The whole story can be read Wisbech Standard 2010
So you may well ask – why Ex Leader Cllr John Clark has also recently resigned – nothing to do with the now defunked ‘Standards Committee’ – but for various other reasons – again within the internal party politics that happen everywhere not only in Fenland.
The trend though is seen as somewhat ‘Toxic’ being the leader of FDC – and I wouldn’t bet that recently elected Cllr Chris Seaton being in overall charge after next May’s elections – especially with Whittlesey Councillor Chris Boden breathing down his neck –
we will wait and see how Cllr Seaton performs in front of his fellow Councillors.
Finally another none Whittlesey Councillor Simon King is in deep, deep water, various articles in the Cambs Times© this week does not put Cllr King in a very good situation.
However the best article was in the sister paper The Wisbech Standard© which goes into great detail, including copies of expense sheets submitted by Cllr King.
The whole story can be read Cllr Kings Expenses Probe – Wisbech Standard
Post script : I have met at various times all the Councillors mentioned in this article.
They have all treated me with the utmost of respect and courtesy.
I was an Independent member of Fenland District Councils Standards Committee before is was abolished. I agree with Cllr Harper to a certain degree, that the system was over cumbersome – however The Standards Committee had some ‘teeth’ where as its replacement The Conducts Committee have None what-so-ever.
Most complaints we received were from other Councillors (Not the public) and in the majority of cases we found that the complaints were politically motivated.
©All pictures Wisbech Standard