Fallout at Spratton Parish Council led to number of official complaints

From alleged social media outbursts to intimidating behaviour - parish councillors accounted for every single complaint made to Daventry District Council about elected members this year.

Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 6:29 am
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2016, 11:45 am
All complaints relating to elected officials in the Daventry district related to parish councillors in 2015/16. A report states this is largely down to a fallout at Spratton Parish Council in September.

Figures set to go before the authority’s yearly appeals and standards committee on Friday has revealed all 10 complaints made in 2015/16 related to people elected to the district’s small parish councils.

They included complaints about “alleged aggressive behaviour” towards a complainant’s relative; improper postings on social media about a complainant’s business and an allege failure to treat fellow councillors with respect.

However no sanctions were imposed in nine of the cases by Daventry’s monitoring officer.

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The final case, relating to a complaint made on May 25, is still under investigation.

An accompanying report reveals that in-fighting at Spratton Parish Council towards the end of 2015 contributed to the figures.

The report does not name Spratton specifically, but the details in the report could only apply to that authority.

In September, nine out of the 10 councillors on the village authority stepped down as a result of a long-running planning dispute. Even the clerk resigned and re-elections had to be held in October.

“Allegations of unethical behaviour featured prominently in the build-up to the mass resignation,” the report reads.

Daventry District council even had to send in “mystery shoppers” to observe Spratton Parish Council meetings to see why such a high number of complaints were made about its members.