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Probe into Newtown councillor's code of conduct

Created on 01/12/2018 @ 10:38
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

A probe into whether two Powys county councillors have broken the authority’s Code of Conduct is taking place.

Powys County Council has confirmed that it has received complaints about Conservative councillors Mark Barnes (Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn) and Iain McIntosh (Yscir).

Cllr Mark Barnes’s Revive and Thrive company won a contract to come up with plans for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Newtown and Brecon.

The awarding panel included fellow councillor Iain McIntosh, representing Brecon Chamber of Trade

PCC Labour Group Leader, Cllr Mathew Dorrance (Brecon St John) claimed that the contract award looked like “crony-ism”.

Cllr McIntosh, who has a carpet selling and fitting business in Brecon, claimed Cllr Dorrance statements were  “politically motivated” and he (Cllr Dorrance) didn't want to see a “BID succeed” in the town.

Independent Councillor Liam Fitzpatrick (Talybont on Usk) submitted the complaint to deputy chief executive, David Powell and Council Solicitor, Clive Pinney.

Cllr Fitzpatrick said: “There is a rule of public perception in public life.

“It's very clear to me that Cllr McIntosh should not have attended or at least should have taken legal advice before being part of the panel. Especially as Cllr Barnes is from the same political group and party.”

Cllr Fitzpatrick added: “I need to know that the whole process is correct and that everyone acted accordingly to their code of conduct which we all sign on attaining office and are briefed on regularly which is mandatory.

“Perception is everything these days and the matter needs to be addressed

Cllr Barnes has said he had removed himself from the tendering process and will resign as a counsellor if any wrongdoing is found.

A spokesman for the county council said:  “We can confirm that we have received a complaint and are investigating.

"We will not be commenting further until that investigation is complete."

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