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STANDARDS BOARD RULES OUT INVESTIGATION AGAINST CHESHIRE LEADER

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The Standards Board for England today announced that it will not be investigating an allegation of misconduct again...
The Standards Board for England today announced that it will not be investigating an allegation of misconduct against the leader of Cheshire CC.

The board has considered a written complaint from Labour social services spokesman Brendan Doyle following a final selection committee to appoint a new director of social services and health, on 28 April.

It alleged that a remark made by Tory leader, Paul Findlow, improperly influenced social services executive member Lynn Hardwick to change her vote which, it was suggested, critically influenced the final decision.

Mr Doyle asked the board to consider whether Mr Findlow was in breach of the members code of conduct.

In a letter to the county council, the Standards Board stated: 'The board considered this allegation and decided not to refer it to an ethical standards officer for investigation.

'The board will therefore not be taking any further action in relation to this allegation.'

Mr Findlow said: 'This decision means that there is no prima facie evidence to warrant an investigation and I shall be demanding an immediate apology from councillor Doyle, who instigated the complaint.

'I have been in local government 25 years and never before has the political opposition acted in such a reprehensible manner.

'I find the whole matter extremely distasteful and I shall be taking legal advice with regard to the prejudicial effects of such widely disseminated, potentially damaging statements.

Following the allegations, Ms Hardwick stated she did not agree with the Opposition's interpretation of events.

And she also expressed 'sadness and concern' that a private meeting to select a senior officer had become the centre of an 'unnecessary' political row.

The Standards Board is an independent body established under the Local Government Act 2000 to investigate allegations of improper conduct by councillors.

Background: Cheshire statementand LGC ne ws story.

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