Councillor hopes for public confidence after malpractice allegation
TWELVE months after allegations of malpractice were made against a coastal council, the authority and all its councillors have been cleared of any wrong doing.
The allegation of malpractice against Chapel St Leonards parish council was made in the press in June 2012 by former parish councillor Christine Young when she resigned.
Although the parish council pressed for a full investigation to clear its name, the independent monitoring officer was reluctant to do so as no evidence of wrong doing had been presented.
But one member of the parish council, Councillor Mel Turton-Leivers, who holds special responsibility as the council's finance officer, refused to let the matter drop and continued to press the monitoring officer for a clearer verdict on the allegations.
At its meeting on Monday, August 12, the parish council received a letter from the independent monitoring officer employed by Legal Services Lincolnshire stating categorically that Mr Turton-Leivers and the other councillors were all "cleared of any allegations of wrong doing."
Mr Turton-Leivers, said: "This is a welcome conclusion to the matter. Although we knew we had done nothing wrong, mud sticks from allegations of this nature, especially those made by a former member of the council.
"The allegations risked damage to public confidence in the council. Hopefully, these findings will restore that confidence. In the last twelve months, the council has made significant progress in working with the community to make Chapel St Leonards a better place. It is important that we have the confidence of the residents to achieve that."