Rather endearingly we’ve been asked by a very excited reader whether Wirral Council’s Standards & Constitutional Committee meeting on Thursday will finally mean that the Thynne 2 report will finally see the light of day.
Sorry to disappoint them but all we can say is- ” You’ve got to be joking ! ”
Instead it seems to be a case of death by bureaucracy and a further desperate attempt by Wirral Council to kill the report stone dead. The sickening irony is that Thursday’s meeting is to approve procedures,protocols and appointments relating to complaints about Wirral Councillors.
The fact that the Committee hasn’t met for 6 months tells you everything you need to know about how seriously councillors take the issue of their own public accountability.
If you really want to lose the will to live might we suggest that you check out the protocol here :
We have two main observations , the first of which is to ask what is the point of having a protocol , a procedure or a policy if you contemptuously ignore it?.
We mean specifically clause 16 of the protocol concerned as it is with the meeting of the Standards Panel
16. Standards Panel
16.1 Where a Standards Complaint has been referred for investigation and a finding of a breach has been found by the Investigator, the Standards Panel shall be convened within 20 working days of the Monitoring Officer receiving the Investigator’s final report.
So can the Committee tell us exactly how long they’ve had Investigator Patricia Thynne’s second Code of Conduct report ?. By our reckoning it’s at least 6 months . Funny we can’t see anywhere in the protocol that Wirral Council have to check with a councillor’s legal rep whether it’s OK with them whether they can hold a meeting! . Although we do note that the decision to instigate a Standards Appeal Panel fills us with complete despair as no matter how heinous or how damning the evidence against them is an errant councillor can seemingly spin the inevitable out for even longer so that allegations can be dismissed as “historical”.
Our second observation is the truly terrifying aspect of the protocol that is the frightening number of powers that the Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer Surjit Tour gives himself …..although now we come to think about it that might explain our first observation!!!.
The Monitoring Officer who thinks he’a Returning Officer – but isn’t !.
Oops! – do you have a protocol for when that happens Mr.Tour?.