Spilsby councillor reported for ‘breach’

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A FORMAL complaint has been made about a Spilsby councillor after they repeatedly refused to explain or withdraw allegations directed at former colleagues and the council in general.

Spilsby Town Council decided at its latest meeting on Thursday to take action against Coun Julia Pears in relation to comments she made, which members felt brought the council into disrepute.

Mayor of Spilsby, Coun Michael Lenton, said: “Coun Pears has made allegations against individuals and the town council as a whole.

“The first when she alleged two previous chairmen had done wrong in appointing the mayors and the second in the Spilsby Standard when she claimed the town council had discriminated against her.

“She was given three opportunities to explain herself or withdraw the allegations and has refused to do so.”

The allegations underlying this ongoing debate were first made in May when Spilsby Town Council appointed its mayor and vice-chairman.

In an uncustomary move, Coun Pears nominated herself for both positions, expressing her dissatisfaction that she had been overlooked during previous mayoral appointments.

As her insinuation was that previous mayors Coun Jim Swanson and David Pleming had acted improperly, Coun Lenton, who won the ensuing vote against Coun Pears to be reappointed mayor, felt she should explain her comments.

Coun Pears refused an opportunity to explain the allegations during the town council’s July meeting and chose to leave the room while the matter was discussed.

However, when she spoke to the Standard after the meeting she said she felt it was a ‘disgrace she had been discriminated against in terms of becoming a mayor,’ which Coun Lenton deemed to be a further unsubstantiated attack on her colleagues and council.

Coun Lenton and the town clerk Sara Marshall read a number of emails they had addressed to Coun Pears asking for her to either explain or withdraw the comments, which were refused.

With Coun Pears refusing to explain her actions by email or during council meetings, Coun Lenton felt the only option remaining was to make a formal complaint to East Lindsey District Council’s monitoring officer Eleanor Hoggart, as he felt her behaviour constituted at least two breaches of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.

Councillors at the meeting, apart from Coun Pears, who had once again left the room, supported this move.

A spokesperson for ELDC said the monitoring officer would now review the complaint and decide upon the ‘most appropriate course of action.’