The Chairman announced the findings of the Sub-Committee having heard the Investigating Officer’s report, and considered the submissions of Councillor McCall. Consequently it was
RESOLVED - That
(1) On 12 September 2011 Councillor McCall's conduct towards Councillor Harvey did not respect him either as the Mayor or as a councillor and there was therefore a breach of Paragraph 3(1) of the Code (failure to treat others with respect). The Sub-Committee decided that the facts were undisputed and that these showed a clear breach of the Code;
(2) On 16 June, 12 & 13 October and 13 December 2011 Councillor McCall's conduct towards Ms Jagger did not respect her position as Deputy Town Clerk. There was therefore a breach of Paragraph 3(1) of the Code (failure to treat others, with respect). The Sub Committee considered that his conduct went beyond reasonable criticism. On one occasion, he saw fit to apologise for his conduct and, on another, a fellow Councillor apologised for Councillor McCall’s conduct towards Ms Jagger;
(3) Councillor McCall's conduct towards Councillor Harvey on 12 September 2011 did not constitute bullying. There was therefore no breach of Paragraph 3(2) of the Code (bullying any person). Because Councillor Harvey is a senior local politician both for the Town Council and Deputy Leader of the Opposition for SLDC it was considered that he must accept a certain amount of personal and political criticism of his actions;
(4) As regards the incidents on 16 June, 12 October and 13 December 2011 Councillor McCall’s conduct towards Alix Jagger constituted bullying. There was therefore a breach of Paragraph 3(2) of the Code (bullying any person). The Sub- Committee made a distinction between the position of councillors and the position of officers. In this case the officer was endeavouring to comply with instructions from the Town Clerk and the Town Council as a whole; and
(5) The Sub-Committee was not satisfied that the sum total of Councillor McCall's conduct constitutes conducting himself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing his office or authority into disrepute. There was therefore no breach of Paragraph 5 of the Code (conducting himself in a manner which would reasonably be regarded as bringing his office into disrepute). The behaviour of Councillor McCall, whilst called into question by the Sub Committee was not of such level of seriousness as to bring the Council into disrepute. The other breaches related to Councillor McCall’s internal conduct and could not be said to detract from his role as a Town Councillor as perceived by the public.
Before reaching its decision on sanctions the Sub-Committee heard a brief statement from the Mrs Viv Tunnadine Town Clerk about how the Town Council had imposed upon Councillor McCall to restrictions on his access to the Town Council offices only allowed to him to attend formal meetings of the Council. The Sub-Committee also heard representations from Councillor McCall in which he stated that a continuation of such restrictions would make it untenable for him to continue as a Town Councillor.