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Harrow Conservatives say Harrow Borough Council plans to stop investigating complaints about councillors
Conservatives have warned that Harrow Borough Council intends to stop investigating complaints from residents.
Tories claim the Labour-run council has made the “appalling” decision to stop investigating complaints from residents and council staff about councillors' conduct.
The Conservative group is attacking this proposal, which it claims is in the draft budget.
Councillor Paul Osborn, vice-chairman of the standards committee and shadow portfolio holder for transformation, performance and communication, said: “This minor but potentially significant item is hidden away in the depths of the cut-riddled budget Labour has concocted.
“At first glance it’s not entirely clear what Labour are proposing by having a ‘scaled-back councillor investigation process’, but the very thin background papers do at least add that the new standards arrangements brought in after the Localism Act are not statutory and could be withdrawn.
“Incredibly, they also reveal that Labour’s plans will result in complaints being dealt with by group leaders in consultation with independent people. Far from being open and transparent, this is a way to make the whole process even more secretive and open to abuse.”
Cllr Osborn continued: “This would be an appalling decision.
“We need to make the standards regime more cost-effective but this should be done without abolishing it or crippling its effectiveness.
“It also sends out completely the wrong message as politicians - it removes one of the key checks residents have against poor councillor behaviour.”
The Harrow Times is awaiting a comment from Harrow Borough Council.