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Llanfair Waterdine Parish Council

Public Statement

In October 2015 the Clerk to the Council convened what purported to be an enquiry into the conduct of Councillor Andrew Beavan, attended by the Clerk, Councillor Beavan and Councillor Morgan (then Chairman of the Council) and subsequently what was purported to be a report of the enquiry was published. The Council accepts that the enquiry was convened without any legal basis and the Clerk was acting without any known legal authority in publishing the report. The allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Cllr. Beavan published at the time are based on an incorrect understanding of law and process. There is nothing to suggest that Cllr Beavan acted other than in an entirely appropriate manner as a councillor in representing a parishioner. The Council wishes to record a public apology to Cllr. Beavan for the distress and any damage to his reputation as a councillor and member of this Council caused as a result of this matter. The Council now considers this matter closed.

In January 2016 the Clerk gave advice to Councillor Richard Lewis ahead of a Council meeting, relating to councillors' requirement to make Declarations of Interest. The Council accepts that this advice was incorrect and that the Clerk did not avail herself of any subsequent opportunity to check the accuracy of the advice given but rather complained that she felt undermined by Cllr. Lewis disputing the validity of that advice. The Chairman at the time (Cllr. Morgan) instructed Cllr Janet Lewis to investigate the allegation without possessing authority to do this. There is nothing to suggest that Cllr Richard Lewis acted other than in an entirely appropriate manner in challenging advice that he identified as likely to be incorrect. The Council wishes to record a public apology to Cllr Richard Lewis for the distress and any damage to his reputation as a councillor and member of this Council caused as a result of this matter. The Council also wishes to record a public apology to Cllr. Janet Lewis for having being tasked to undertake an illegitimate action. The Council now considers this matter closed.

In November 2015 the Clerk published two out of four pieces of correspondence pertaining to the same matter together with part of a third piece of correspondence. The Clerk's actions were not authorised and the Council acknowledges that this amounted to entirely unacceptable conduct on the part of a Council employee. The Council accepts and acknowledges that the public were misled in relation to the matter, that this was an entirely predictable outcome of selective publication and that community cohesion was threatened as a result. The Council also acknowledges the distress suffered by parishioner Roger Thomas, from whom one of the published letters came and wishes to record a public apology to Roger Thomas and his Family for the distress and any damage to his reputation caused by this matter. The Council also wishes to record an apology to the residents of Llanfair Waterdine Parish and beyond for the misrepresentation caused by this matter. The Council now considers this matter closed.