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Pinner councillor accepts code of conduct breach

 Published on: 10th July 2019   |   By: Tim Green   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Harrow councillor for Pinner who has been censured said he accepts the decision.

Last month, the Standards Working Group at Harrow Civic Centre considered reports from a female resident that Stephen Wright had breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors and Members.

He was accused of inappropriate physical contact with the woman whose complaint led to him being censured.

She alleged that he used information to exaggerate his influence as a powerful decision maker to form an inappropriate personal relationship with her.

After hearing evidence from the complainant, the investigating officer, witnesses and the councillor the group unanimously concluded that Councillor Wright had breached that Code.

A public notice issued by Harrow Council gave more detail on exactly how Cllr Wright breached the code.

The group found that cllr Wright had made some inappropriate physical contact with the woman and contacted her more frequently than was justified. The group also ruled that he had exceeded the normal professional boundaries of a councillor-resident relationship and questioned his choice of meeting venues. 

The group also found that Cllr Wright described council officers as liars trying to whitewash events, and tried to get an officer suspended or dismissed. He also tried to get the complainant to undermine the council’s case, tried to secure meetings for her with senior officers, retained confidential court papers and inappropriately demanded an independent investigation.

In view of the breaches the Working Group unanimously recommended to the Monitoring Officer that Councillor Wright be censured and offered training on the representational role of councillors so that the boundaries in carrying out this role can be clearly understood and respected in future.

Speaking to PinnerNews, Cllr Wright said he accepted the decision.

He commented: “I was censured because I tried to do too much for one of my residents. I criticised council officers and I became caught up in the detail of a legal case. That was wrong and I accept the censure.”

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