September 25, 2022

First with the Alderney News

Planning Committee chairman suspended after Code of Conduct hearing

2 min read

The chairman of the planning committee has been suspended for a month following a series of breaches to the States Members’ Code of Conduct.

Mike Dean was found to have breached the Code when he failed to declare that an application considered by the Building and Development Control Committee actually related to his neighbour’s property.

It is believed to be the first time that a States Member has been suspended for a month following a Code of Conduct hearing.

The Code of Conduct panel received the complaint after a planning committee meeting held on the 28th November last year, chaired by Mr Dean.

The committee considered an application relating to a property adjacent to another property called ‘Quatrieme‘.

The complaint alleged that Mr Dean had failed to declare a pecuniary interest before the meeting.

The panel, consisting of Helen McGregor, Pete Cunningham and Donald Hughes, quizzed Mr Dean at a subsequent Code of Conduct hearing and he confirmed he had a financial interest in Quatrieme that he had not declared. He also confirmed he was aware of the Code of Conduct and of the clause which relates to a pecuniary interest.

The States of Alderney President’s office released a statement signed by Ms McGregor, chairman of the panel, noting its findings.

It read:

In failing to declare his interest Mr Dean was found to be in breach of para 4.3.1 of the Code of Conduct. Having a pecuniary interest in a property immediately adjacent to a property the subject of a planning application was found to have been a matter Mr Dean should have declared.

‘It was the view of the hearing panel that the planning process must be seen to be transparent. No member of BDCC should ever sit on a neighbour’s planning application. The panel found that complaint substantiated.

‘Secondly: Having been made aware that he may have breached the code Mr Dean was required under para 11.2 of the code to refer himself to the President and the Greffier. He failed to do so therefore that complaint was also upheld.

‘The panel unanimously believed that the breaches of the code were so serious that a 28 day suspension (concurrent on both complaints) was the appropriate sanction to impose.’

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