Please note that, whilst this response is addressed to Mr. Parham, the 13 other signatories to the letter did not receive any reply and I have requested individual email replies.
Date: 19th May 2020
RE: HAYLING ISLAND TRANSPORT ASSESSMENT ADDENDUM.
Thank you for your email (dated 8th April 2020) to Councillor Wilson complaining about
Councillor Pike and the consideration he gave to the Scrutiny Committee’s
recommendation of the Hayling Island Transport Assessment Addendum. This was
passed to me for response.
The report was considered by the Scrutiny Committee a few days before the publication of the agenda for the Development Management Committee (DMC). Councillor Pike wished to ensure that DMC and the public had the decision on the acceptance or otherwise of the transport assessment report prior to the publication of the DMC papers to ensure as much transparency as possible in respect of any decision.
In this case Councillor Pike, considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee, engaged with and discussed the issue with specialist planning officers and requested a written update for him to consider. Having received the additional information Councillor Pike made a decision.
The democratic process delegates the responsibility for making these decisions to the
relevant duly elected Councillor. That person is obliged to give full consideration of all
elements of the public interest and reach a conclusion. In this case there is clear evidence that the decision was fully reconsidered with the benefit of additional information. In balancing the public interest, some individuals may perceive a decision to be to the detriment to their own wishes and feelings, but the principles of public life requires Councillors to act solely in terms of the public interest. Councillors must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work and must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
Having considered your letter to the Leader of Havant Borough Council, (and the copying in of an additional 50 individuals and media channels) I am unable to identify any basis for proceeding with your complaint under the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.
BY EMAIL ONLY
Dear Mr Parham,
Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer
Havant Borough and East Hampshire District Council