A local councillor who set up a fake meeting of Ockbrook and Borrowash Parish Council to prevent one or more of his colleagues losing their seats for not attending meetings for six consecutive months has been stripped of his executive role on Erewash Borough Council. Cllr Mike Wallis who was Lead Member for Culture and Leisure has been suspended from the Conservative group. He has apologised for his ‘Error of Judgement’.
Erewash Labour Party have issue the following statement:
Error of Judgement?
Labour councillors in Erewash call upon Councillor Mike Wallis to consider his position in response to the recent findings of the Standards Committee that resulted in Ockbrook & Borrowash Parish Council unanimously calling for him to resign.
While we welcome the action taken by the Conservative Leader of the borough council and her Group to remove the cabinet position from Cllr Wallis, we do have to question if the suspension from the Conservative Group for 6 months goes far enough with dealing with this matter.
The findings of the Standards Committee report noted that there had been a breach of the Code of Conduct in respect of integrity, honesty, selflessness and leadership. For anyone elected to public office in the UK, the 7 principles of Public Life (Nolan Principles) outline the minimal ethical standards those working in the public sector are expected to adhere to.
Is someone who has openly admitted to breaching 4 of the 7 principles in public life fit to continue holding public office? Are the actions taken, a slap on the wrist with a penalty of a 6 month ban from the Conservative Group, condoning this type of behaviour?
Leader of the Labour Group Councillor Denise Mellors said:
“Those that are elected to serve are quite rightly held to a higher standard than private individuals. The actions that have been admitted to by Councillor Wallis undermine public trust in the democratic process”
We believe that in the interests of upholding standards within public life and the trust he has betrayed of the residents he has been elected to represent and serve, Councillor Wallis should consider his position, do the honourable thing, and resign from Erewash Borough Council.