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We have a councillor that has a wife who has a part time job as a cleaner for the council

0 votes
We have had a complaint from the MO that the councillor is doing the cleaning and not his wife put his wife is the one employed by the council and the council pay the wages to his wife is this a breach of his code of conduct the councillor has admitted he is doing the cleaning but he thinks he is doing nothing wrong
by (1.4k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
I'm confused by the comment that the monitoring officer has complained.  Presumably because this has been raised as a breach of the code of conduct from someone?

A councillor cannot be employed in a paid role by the council for which he is a member.  It is considered a conflict of interest.  However, there is nothing to prevent a member of the same family from being employed by the council provided that the councillor declares an interest and does not take part in any discussion or vote in connection with that employee (e.g. salary negotiations, performance discussions etc. etc.).  In this instance, if the wife is technically the employee, is paid directly by the council via the PAYE system (i.e. using her HMRC details etc.) then I can't see that this is a problem.
However, there may be staff management issues here with the employee not doing their job and an unofficial substitute undertaking the tasks could have implications from an insurance and risk management perspective, and lead to health and safety and employer liability issues.  It is a staff management problem, not a code of conduct matter.   Is the councillor doing the cleaning to be helpful or as a fraudulent way of getting paid via his wife?
by (10.7k points)
Someone complained to the MO the complaint was also the the councillor has not entered the wife name on the register of interest he does vote to release her wages every month  the complaint was because the councillor does the cleaning most of the time put the wages are paid to his wife there does seem to be a staff management problem due to the clerk saying she did not no it was happening
Agreed. It may be fraudulanet as HMRC is getting the PAYE on the account of a person who is not doing the work ? Sounds extreme but could affect Old age pension etc etc. Better to consider advertising the role again if the person is unable to fulfil the role for which they are being paid.
“…can't see that this is a problem…”

Should have gone to Specsavers!
Another side to this is that is the insurance aspect.  If he is injured at work, he will not be insured, end of. If his actions cause a member of the public (or any other person) to be injured, then the insurance company may refuse to pay out as he is not the employee, then that person may well sue the council.....

And as a final thought, HMRC may have issues, as they may see some sort of tax dodge going on and that would have serious repercussions!
This all started because the  councillor did not register a disclosable pecuniary and in meeting he does not disclose a disclosable pecuniary to release his wife wages so he votes to release them.we are not sure if he should be doing this
Er ... why is this employee being paid for doing nothing.  Why is the payment being authorised?
0 votes
Take immediate Conduct and Discipline action against the employee for failing to carry out their duties

This is basically fraud and I can see why the MO came to their decision but it also proves how toothless the system is
I’ve seen some really serious breaches of the Code of Conduct where nothing has been done

Funnily enough last Monday an agenda item came up about a fence along an alleyway and a Councillor tried to get me to declare an interest and leave the room because it’s near my house and I walk down it to get to my allotment neither my house nor the allotment are within a couple of hundred yards of the alleyway
I imagine the next step will be banning me from a meeting about air pollution because I breathe!
by (9.3k points)
I have a similar code violation complaint being investigated by the MO at the moment. A landowner applied for permission to build 8 large executive houses in open countryside, which was quickly refused. The applicant reported a councillor to the MO for speaking and voting against the application on the basis that he is the next door neighbour and should have declared an interest and withdrawn. He failed to tell the MO that there is half a mile between the two locations!
Are your meetings live-streamed Jules? They sound hilarious!

Which council is this? I may have to visit. PM location / council if preferred
Shipmate ! I've sent you a PM
What i didn't mention was that I pointed out there was another Councillor who lived near me and also had an allotment but I was told that as they were infirm they drove down so didn't use the alleyway
Dave, Taking this to its logical conclusion any Councillor has a prejudicial interest in anything that's happening in their community as they live there.

Maybe we should reverse the three mile rule so that a Councillor who lives within three miles of a Parish can't stand for election.

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