Fringe Box



Letter: Council Should Consider Why It Is Held in Such Low Esteem

Published on: 8 Jun, 2023
Updated on: 8 Jun, 2023

From: Bernard Quoroll

former independent person at GBC

In response to: Censured Councillor Agrees GBC’s Complaints System is ‘Not Fit for Purpose’

Ex-leader Paul Spooner seems to have suffered a convenient memory lapse. He appears to have forgotten that during his time as leader of the council, no serious attempt was made to remedy the fundamental failings that beset the council’s complaints procedure.

Concerns about weaknesses in the publicity arrangements are legitimate but they are a sideshow compared to its two biggest failings.

No public-facing organisation can be trusted to mark its own homework. Complaints about councillor behaviour should be investigated and reviewed outside the council.

If a councillor is found to have breached the Council’s Code of Conduct, there should be an effective set of enforceable remedies – not just a slap on the wrist, which councillors can and do ignore.

But even these points are minor compared with a more pressing question. What kind of behaviour should voters expect from the people they elect? I for one would like the people who represent me, to demonstrate sincerity and integrity in office and to behave with respect for others, just as I would expect them to behave towards me.

It is possible to disagree and learn the lessons of the of the kindergarten without resorting to playground tactics.

A good starting point would be to spend some quality time as a council, reflecting on why this council is held in such low regard. It goes much deeper than an occasional review of a procedure which is already fatally flawed.

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