Garstang Town Council told to consider "training and mediation" after standards investigation

Coun Roger Brooks
Coun Roger Brooks
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Garstang Town Council has been advised to consider arranging “training and mediation sessions” after Wyre Council was asked to intervene in a local dispute.

Garstang Town Council has been advised to consider arranging “training and mediation sessions” after Wyre Council was asked to intervene in a local dispute.

Mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster

Mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster

A well publicised fall out between councillors lead to both sides asking Wyre’s Standards service to investigate councillors’ behaviour.

Now complaints of “improper actions regarding financial matters” made by Garstang town Coun Roger Brooks against his own council have been thrown out.

But so too have complaints by three of his fellow councillors about him “speaking to the press and making inappropriate comments on social media” and breaching the council’s Standing Orders.

Coun Brooks had previously raised concerns that councillors waived through Town Council “salary statements containing no figures but only the letters TBC (to be confirmed)”.

A probe by standards officials at Wyre Council has now decided there has been no breach of the code of local council conduct in relation to both complaints. But they advised: “Given the issues raised from both complaints the Council has been recommended to consider arranging training and mediation.”

The three town councillors who complained to Wyre about Coun Brooks were Couns Alec Allan, Leah Hynes and Peter Ryder. Coun Brooks said he had not yet seen any information about the outcomes of the standards/ investigations and therefore could not comment.

Garstang mayor Coun Elizabeth Webster said the issue would be on the agenda for the November meeting of the town council. Both complaints were dealt with simultaneously by Wyre.

The complaints were considered by the Monitoring Officer, Deputy Monitoring Officer and an independent person. Coun Brooks had also complained about “insufficient information provided when making decisions”.

It was last May that the Courier reported how Coun Brooks was accused by the three other town councillors of bringing the council into disrepute.

They asked the Council to consider reporting him to the Borough Council’s monitoring officer for breach of the Town Council’s Standing Orders. Coun Brooks is an advocate of more openness in local government.