By Ewan Foskett
Thursday, February 23, 2012
A PARISH council has had its knuckles rapped after a series of complaints were lodged with the district and subsequently investigated - costing over £4,000 of public money.
Shepreth Parish Council has been the subject of several probes by the Standards Committee at South Cambs District Council leaving the authority “disappointed by the number of reports”.
A letter to members of the parish council spelled out South Camb’s concerns: “Parish councillors should be seen as community leaders, fit to carry out the public responsibility with which they have been tasked.
“A parish council which tolerates inappropriate behaviour, such as councillors using intemperate verbal and body language, without taking immediate steps to stop such behaviour and to seek apologies from those behaving discourteously will lose the confidence of its residents.
“The committee wishes Shepreth Parish Council to note that South Cambridgeshire District Council has been required to spend in excess of £4,000 of public money in the course of dealing with recent allegations about the conduct of Shepreth Parish Council.”
Shepreth Parish Council was also told its website was misleading in regard to public participation and to seek the advice of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils.
A step the body’s chairman cllr Jenny Ravenhill says she has taken and the association found nothing wrong with it’s conduct, as well as adding the correct information is available in the parish newsletter.
She told The Crow: “There is far more to it than this letter.
“Some of the complaints seem to have been reaction to the initial investigation, the problem with the standards board is you get tit-for-tat complaints, that’s why there are more.
Cllr Ravenhill said that due to the Standards Board now becoming defunct it was difficult to see what action will be taken.
She added: “The parish council will consider some of the points made and it is for the council to decide what action will be taken.
“What we do have is two or three people in Shepreth who think its appropriate to shout and swear and behave in totally unacceptable way in parish council and it is not always easy to stop them.
“Shepreth Parish Council is far better run than it has been in years.”