Councillor wins appeal

Carole Gerada
Carole Gerada

AN EASTFIELD parish councillor has won an appeal against a decision by Scarborough Council’s Standards Committee.

Cllr Carole Gerada took October’s ruling – which was made following complaints about her conduct and not treating fellow councillors with respect – to the Tribunals Judiciary which rejected the verdict.

She said she was delighted with the outcome “on behalf of residents who had supported me through what had been an extremely stressful and humiliating period”.

“The finding of the tribunal has upheld my appeal on all counts,” she added.

She said that the tribunal had stated the council’s Code of Conduct should not prevent councillors from “raising concerns made on a matter of public interest”.

The Standards Committee had ruled that Cllr Gerada had made serious allegations; the tribunal said that the committee’s ruling was unsupported by any evidence. The committee also heard she had made wide-ranging allegations of “misappropriation and dishonesty” but did not specify a specific allegation, date or manner of communication as to what was said.

In reaching its verdict the tribunal stated that the investigating officer’s report had “strayed well beyond the time frame in both directions” with regards to the complaint and said there was no suggestion that she had revealed confidential matters.

Ian Anderson, the borough council’s head of legal and support services, said that the tribunal’s decision had been noted. He added: “However, as many of the issues raised in the tribunal’s decision may come back for consideration by the Standards Committee, it would be inappropriate to make further comment.”

Cllr Brian Simpson, the chairman of the parish council, said they would continue to operate in an open and democratic manner. He added: “Cllr Gerada has the same access to the same information as any other parish councillor.”