ASSESSMENT DECISION NOTICE
NO BREACH OF THE CODE
Complainant: Mrs C May
Subject Member: Councillor M Dyer – Tintagel Parish Council
Simon Mansell, Group Manager – Assurance
Date of Assessment: 25 April 2022
The Complainant has set out that she is of the opinion that the Subject Member made
an incorrect statement to a meeting of the Parish Council held on 2 March 2022
regarding her reasons for previously resigning from the Parish Council, and because of
this has breached the Code of Conduct.
For the reason set out in this notice there is no breach of the Code of Conduct and
because of this no further action needs to be taken.
Reasons for the Decision
In undertaking this assessment, I have had regard to the following:
The complaint and supporting emails as supplied by the Complainant;
A statement from the existing Locum Clerk; and
The views of the Independent Person.
I have not received a response to this complaint from the Subject Member, and they
did not contact the Independent Person.
Within the complaint the Complainant has expressed concern about the wording of the
minutes for the meeting in question. However, it is outside the scope of this process
Information Classification: PUBLIC
to consider the minutes, as these are the legal record of the meeting and so is not
Application of the Code of Conduct
In considering the complaint as made, I am not satisfied that the Subject Member was
acting in their official capacity at the time the alleged breach of the Code occurred,
the reasoning for this is set out below.
As with all ethical standards complaints, this is assessed against the Code of Conduct
adopted by the Council and the procedures for assessing complaints adopted by
The information provided is assessed on the balance of probabilities; this is, would a
reasonable person, objectively considering of all the facts, be of the view it is more
likely than not that the actions of the Subject Member amount to a breach of the Code
At the meeting of the Town Council held on 2 March 2022, the Town Council were
looking to co-opt onto the Council and two people were being considered for cooption,
one of these was the Subject Member. The Subject Member, who had
previously been on the Council, gave her reasons to Council as part of the co-option
process for leaving the Council. These reasons are set out in the minutes, as below;
‘Mrs Dyer explained she had been a Councillor on this Council before but had left
because of family issues, but she now felt ready to return and offer her help with the
council going forward’.
The minutes then record that the Subject Member left the room and then returned
(with the other co-optee) and was welcomed to the Council and then signed her
Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
As part of the complaint the Complainant has set out that she considers that, when
taking into account the statement made to Council by the Subject Member for
previously leaving the Council, that the Subject Member had publicly made a false
statement about her.
In considering the above against the Code of Conduct:
For the Code of Conduct to apply to the actions of a member the person has to be a
Councillor at the time of the alleged conduct. The first paragraph of the Code states
that, ‘This Code applies to you as a Member of the Council’.
I have noted from the minutes that the Subject Member made the statement as part
of the overall co-option process and did not sign her acceptance of office until after
she had made the statement.
Therefore, at the time the statement was made, the Subject Member was a member
of the public and not a Councillor, and because of this the Subject Member was not
bound by the Code at the time the statement was made and therefore cannot have
breached the Code of Conduct.
Whilst it is accepted that that the previous comments given for her resigning may well
have been made in her official capacity, these cannot be further considered as they
Information Classification: PUBLIC
are out of scope as the procedures adopted by the Council set out that any actions
over 6 months old are out of scope for consideration.
Therefore, whilst the concerns of the Complainant are noted, as the Subject Member
was not a Councillor at the time the comments were made to the meeting held on 2
March, the only finding that can be properly made is one of no breach of the Code of
Views of the Independent Person
In the absence of any discussion or further information from the Subject Member the
Independent Person’s view is that Cllr Dyer has not breached the Code of Conduct
2.1 You must treat others with respect.
Summary and actions
As there has been no breach of the Code of Conduct on the part of the Subject
Member no further actions are required.
What happens now?
This decision notice is sent to the complainant, the member against whom the
allegation has been made and the Clerk to Tintagel Parish Council and published on
the Councils web site.
Right of review
At the written request of the Complainant the Monitoring Officer can review this
complaint and, if the review is successful this may result in a change to the finding
made in the original assessment.
We must receive a written request from the Complainant to review this decision within
14 days from the date of this notice, explaining in detail on what grounds the decision
should be reviewed. The grounds for requesting a review must be substantive, and a
re-submission of the original complaint will not be classed as substantive, and neither
will a request that sets out the findings are disagreed with. There must be fresh
information in the request which was not considered at assessment which is such that
this may result in a different outcome.
If we receive a request for a review, we will write to all the parties mentioned above,
notifying them of the request to review the decision.
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