Blimey, I reckon I must be psychic. Barely an hour after finishing my post about complaints about councillors and codes of conduct the news comes in that Hassan Ahmed has been found guilty of breaching the members code of conduct by the Standards Board for England because he failed to declare a number of interests.
Despite this the board decided to take no further action accepting that -
"...there is an inherent risk for any member who is involved in the number of organisations that Councillor Ahmed is involved in, of inadvertently failing to consider the requirements of the Code to register those interests, declare those interests at meetings of the authority, and consider those interests when approaching officers of the authority."
Oh for fucks sake. How hard can it be? Harder than being an executive portfolio holder? Does he need someone to remind him where he lives? After all, he does own two properties, must be very easy for him to get them mixed up.
But in a spectacular combination of breathtaking arrogance and delusion he told the 'Post' -
"I am delighted that, after a thorough investigation, I have been exonerated. The Standards Board found that I had no case to answer."
Erm, no mate, you weren't exonerated at all you were found to have BREACHED YOUR CODE OF CONDUCT. That's not the same as being exonerated. Being exonerated would have meant that you were found to have NOT BREACHED YOUR CODE OF CONDUCT, which wasn't what happened.
Do you see the difference Councillor Ahmed? One is being exonerated, the other is being found guilty. You were the latter. I realise that telling the difference is almost as difficult as remembering which pies you've got your fingers stuffed in but keep working at it you bullshitting fucking twat.
One of the factors that helped Ahmed escape any sanction was that -
"The ESO found that there was no evidence that Councillor Ahmed had attended any council meeting, while a portfolio holder, at which one of his registered, or unregistered interests had been discussed or where funding or grants had been considered or approved."
Well no, he wouldn't have been. That's because, unless it was a very big grant (>£500k) virtually all funding decisions are taken by a single portfolio holder. Unless Ahmed happened to be that portfolio holder (and I think that would be too brazen even for him) he wouldn't be formally involved. But that ignores the informal influence that any councillor might have and the Standards Board should have taken that into account.
And of course, as we've written about previously, Ahmed was very much involved with a decision to suddenly end all NCC funding for the Council for Equality and Human Rights Nottm + Notts which is arguably a potential competitor to Nottingham Equal, one of the organisations Ahmed was involved with. Although this decision was made after he was forced by the Post to declare his interests, a councillor's involvement in an organisation is not only relevant to how NCC deals with that organisation but how it treats its competitors. It may or may not be relevant to note that the details of this decision was kept secret.
Interestingly, Ahmed has recently submitted a new register of interests which no longer lists Nottingham Equal as one of his interests. Wonder why that is? (older edition here)