September 25, 2022

First with the Alderney News

Suspended Planning Committee chairman appeals Code of Conduct finding

3 min read

States Member and chairman of the Building and Development Control Committee Mike Dean has launched an appeal against the decision of the Code of Conduct panel.

Mike Dean

Mr Dean attended a panel hearing last Thursday and its members upheld a complaint that he breached the Code by failing to declare a pecuniary interest prior to a planning meeting in November 2019. They found that he had also committed a breach by failing to report himself for breaching the Code when he was aware of its stipulations.

They subsequently voted to suspend him for 28 days.

Today Mr Dean announced that he was appealing against the finding.

He said:

‘I addressed the panel with a 2000 worded statement explaining why not declaring any pecuniary interest in the planning application as submitted was not a conflict of interest.

‘In the statement I asked for all the previous planning applications on that site to be taken into consideration which demonstrated my impartiality, fairness and professionalism in all of the decisions that the committee undertook. No appeals were lodged by the applicant or their agent against those decisions as in accordance with the law.

‘In Jan 2020, the CEO carried out his own internal review following a complaint received from the applicant’s agent in January. That was tabled by the CEO at a BDCC policy meeting in February 2020. The committee decided in the interest of transparency, and following advice from the CEO, to allow the applicant’s agent to submit a planning application free of charge. It was their decision for me to stand down from the committee decision for that application.

‘As far as I was concerned and under his advice the matter was now closed and a committee resolution was passed and I did as was requested at the next planning meeting.

‘However, in June 2020 I was notified that two codes of conduct complaints had been lodged by the CEO against me.

‘I have now lodged an appeal against the panel’s decision and it would unethical of me to go into the grounds of that appeal. Obviously, I will make the documents submitted available once the appeal hearing has taken place.’

Mr Dean said he found it unfair that the findings of his hearing has been published on the States website while those of another hearing, where the States Member in question has also lodged an appeal, had not.

He said:

‘The breaches and the panel’s original decision have been published on the States website, as is required by our Code. It has subsequently been shared via the media.

”Another member also recently had a complaint hearing against them and a decision made. They have not had their hearing findings published and they have been given the privilege of confidentiality by our President pending their appeal.

‘Since then I have been publicly humiliated and vilified before exercising my right of appeal.

‘In this case it seems one rule for one member and another rule for myself.

‘I hope my fellow States Members notice this fact and take appropriate action.’

Acting Chief Executive Officer Adrian Lewis said it would not be appropriate to comment on Mr Dean’s statement.

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