Agenda and minutes

Audit and Governance Hearings Sub-Committee - Friday 7th March, 2014 1.30 pm

Venue: Town Hall, Bootle

Contact: Mike Morris 

No. Item


Appointment of Chair




That Councillor Papworth be appointed Chair for this meeting of the Sub-Committee.



Apologies for Absence


No apologies for absence were received.


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were received.


Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider passing the following resolution:


That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.  The Public Interest Test has been applied and favours exclusion of the information from the Press and Public.





That it be noted that this meeting is being held in closed session and is not subject to the notice or publicity requirements of Part 5 of the Local Government Act 1972.




Code of Conduct - Determination of a Complaint Against Town Councillor D. Jones

Report of the Head of Corporate Legal Services and Monitoring Officer.


The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Head of Corporate Legal Services and Monitoring Officer on an investigation into the alleged conduct of Town Councillor David Jones, a Member of Maghull Town Council.


The Chair, Councillor Papworth, introduced the Members of the Sub-Committee; Mr. E. Davies, Independent Person; Mr. Peter Cowley, Investigating Officer; Mrs. Andrea Watts, Deputy Monitoring Officer; the subject Member, Town Councillor David Jones; the complainant, Mr. Brendan Grant; and Mike Morris, Senior Democratic Services Officer. 


Mr. Cowley, Investigating Officer, outlined the complaint (made by Mr. Brendan Grant) as detailed in (1) to (3) below and referred to documentary evidence contained in the report before the Sub-Committee. Mr. Cowley did not call any witnesses.


(1) Councillor Jones used his position as a Councillor to "try to drive TMS F.C.

out of business as then Maghull F.C. would benefit". This relates to the

proposal  to charge TMS F.C. £2,000 per annum for the hire of

Whinneybrook Playing Field.

(2) Councillor Jones (as a Committee Member for Senior Teams of Maghull

F.C.)should have declared an interest when taking part in Committee

meetings at which the fees for playing fields were being discussed.

(3) Councillor Jones should not have disclosed confidential Council information to a third party in a public house.


Town Councillor Jones presented his case and did not call any witnesses.


Mr. Cowley then summed up the complaint and Town Councillor Jones summed up his case.


Mr. E. Davies, Independent Person, had been consulted prior to the meeting and his views could be summarised as follows:-


1. This confusing state of affairs would appear to have arisen because

Maghull Town Council, or at least its Finance Sub-Committee, took a

decision based on inaccurate information, i.e.

(a) the fact that TMS Soccer School (the commercial business) is a

separate entity from TMS Boys FC. and

(b) nobody thought it necessary to obtain an accurate figure for attendance

at the club, but instead relied on one man's guess. From my reading of the facts, none of this can be laid at the door of Councillor Jones personally (other than his membership of the Council who took the decision). Indeed, the documentation would indicate that Councillor Jones took an active part in reducing the original £2,000 decision once the true attendance figures were known. In my view it is down to some disturbing unprofessionalism by the Council and its officers in not making sure of their facts before proceeding to their first decision.

2. I could not see any conflict of interest for Councillor Jones inasmuch as the decision concerning pitch fees did not involve Maghull F.C.

3. We now come to the conduct of Councillor Jones in the Meadows public house on 18 August 2013. That the conversation took place is not in dispute. That Mr. Grant and Mr. McPhillips interpreted it as pre-empting the decision,

or Councillor Jones’s explanation that he was expressing an opinion as to what the decision may be, is irrelevant. Should he have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.