No breach of council Code of Conduct

IN last week’s Observer, Mrs Thelma Farr questioned whether I had abused the Code of Conduct for councillors.

The test for whether an interest has to be declared is whether any reasonable person would assume that I was achieving any gain from the vote.

As I am helping to raise money for a charity and not for myself, any relation or any friend, it is difficult to see how I gain from any such vote.

I have, of course, checked with an officer of the Sussex Association of Local Councils who is qualified to make comment and is able to give advice. That officer has confirmed that no breach of the code was made by me.

In respect of chairman of the council’s assertation that he voted against the motion to grant £75 towards the Scarecrow Festival costs both on the first vote and then with his casting vote, he is correct.

However, my letter said that he ‘supported’ the motion which he did prior to an intervention by another councillor and before the vote.

Finally, the one member of the council who did not support the motion to fund up to £1,200 for a ‘community event’ was indeed me.

I am concerned that such expenditure which is for an invitees only gathering may be subject to challenge.

It is now with that in mind that I have asked the town clerk to include a motion to be put to the next Full Council stating that the event be open to any Battle Town area parishioner. I hope that will receive general support.

Richard Jessop

Battle Town Councillor and

organiser of the Battle Scarecrow Festival 2013