THE former chairman of a Devon council has been censured for breaching four counts of its code of conduct. David Griffiths had a number of disputes, dating back several years, with landowner and publican Alan Isaac, a monitoring board heard.
When the Isaac family applied for planning permission to change two barns at Upexe Barton Farm from agricultural to commercial use, Mr Griffiths, of Chapel Coombe Woods Lane, Upexe, was chairman of Rewe Parish Council.
The parish council wrote a strongly-worded statement to East Devon District Council planners, opposing the planning application. But it later emerged that Councillor Griffiths had failed to declare an interest or leave the room when the application had been discussed.
Alan Isaac's wife, Jane, raised a complaint about the issue when the parish council could not provide her with minutes of the meeting where the application had been discussed.
Denise Lyon, the district council's monitoring officer, found that Cllr Griffiths had not avoided conducting himself in a manner which could be regarded as bringing his office into disrepute, had failed to disclose a personal interest at a meeting, had failed to declare a prejudicial interest and failed to withdraw from the room when he had a prejudicial interest in the matter being discussed.
My comment: Hell hath no fury like a public official/officer who holds a grudge!
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