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Newtown county councillor cleared in Code of Conduct probe

Created on 04/12/2018 @ 12:27
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

A Newtown Powys county councillor investigated for alleged breaches of the council's Code of Conduct over a town regeneration contract has been cleared, along with another councillor.

Powys County Council (PCC) has confirmed that Conservative councillors Mark Barnes, who represents the Newtown Llanllwchaiarn ward, and Cllr Iain McIntosh, who represents Yscir near Brecon, have done nothing wrong.

PCC said that one investigation looked at both councillors’ involvement in the contract award.

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

The awarding panel included Cllr Iain McIntosh who has a carpeting business in the town, representing Brecon Chamber of Trade.

The complaints were made amidst complaints of “cronyism over contracts”.

Cllr Barnes had said he had removed himself from the tendering process.

They are both part of the Independent/Conservative ruling coalition at PCC.

A delighted Cllr Barnes said: “I would never abuse any perceived privilege. “I’m a councillor because I love where I live and I care about my neighbours. There is a culture amongst a minority of councillors to disrupt rather than deliver for their residents.

“This is not scrutiny, it is political point scoring."

He believes that dealing with the complaint has wasted senior managers’ time and therefore council tax payers money – “that could have been invested in delivering council services.”

Cllr McIntosh said: “I am delighted although frustrated about the whole attack on me on businesses in Brecon and the BID process.

“There was never any doubt about whether or not I should have been part of the panel to choose a company to deliver BID schemes to Brecon and Newtown.

“I’m glad that Powys County Council has confirmed that the process was carried out in a fully transparent and honest manner.

“I am very disappointed at the politically motivated attacks that have been made to myself, our towns, the local economy and our future prosperity. This mudslinging has got to stop.”

A spokesman for Powys County Council said: “Following a thorough review of information available the council has concluded that the procurement process, including the appointment of Revive and Thrive for work on the Business Improvement District, was robust and fair.

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