Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away

Finally we hear from the Post that Cllr Grocock has been cleared by the Standards Committee over his 'grandson' getting a house, as highlighted originally in the report on the housing allocations scandal.

Not really a surprise, especially seeing as the monitoring officer appears to have been acting as an unofficial advocate on Grocock's behalf. His preliminary report urged the committee to throw the case out without a hearing. However, the committee would have none of that, possibly because on the day only the independent members and a Lib Dem were in attendance.

Oddly, when it came to appointing the members of the hearing sub-committee last July, i.e. the people who would hear the case, the committee deviated from its normal practice of appointing the members themselves and, on the recommendation of the monitoring officer, agreed to delegate responsibility for doing so to the Deputy Chief Executive 'in consultation with the Chair' who hadn't turned up that day. So apart from what's in the Post report we currently don't know who sat in judgment.

Anyway the Post does report that the independent member on the committee made it clear she thought his conduct was a breach of the Code of Conduct. However it seems that the monitoring officer swung the day saying -

"This happened because a senior housing officer [Tyron Browne] issued what could be described as an oblique instruction to the housing office and a tenancy was allocated. I remain of the view that the actual cause was the senior housing officer and the culture at the time."

Browne of course has since resigned and has never faced any sanction.

So, as you can see, a big boy really did do it and then ran away.

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