A reader – ‘Gingsy’ – yesterday [14th November] posted a comment in the chain under an article published on 22nd November, Actual Reality Trust reports Councillor Walsh to Commissioner for Ethical Standards in public life.
This alleges that, from the evidence of the documents on the Council’s planning website, Council Leader Walsh has ‘written to all the members of the committee to try and persuade them to approve an application for wind turbines in his ward that the planning officers are recommending for refusal.’
The reader in question sees these letters to each elected member serving on the Planning Committee as having the purpose of lobbying.
The code of conduct regards it as a breach for any councillor to lobby any other councillor on a planning issue.
It is injudicious of Councillor Walsh to leave himself open to another complaint to the Standards Commissioner. He already has both a formal finding of a breach of the code of conduct against him [coincidentally for a planning-related matter] and a current outstanding complaint against him from Actual Reality Trustee, Dr Christoher Mason for his conduct in the now collapsed sale of Castle Toward.
Given the nature of Council Leader Walsh’s control over elected members, it will be interesting to see whether the planning meeting on Wednesday chooses to overthrow the recommendation of the council’s planning officers.