Quite a few members of the public are voted into public office without realising the snake pit they are entering. They are welcomed into their new post by the same smiling friendly officers that will mislead them at committee and lie to them whenever those officers are trying to cover up a deception or other wrong doing they were either responsible for, or involved in.
Officers often advise members they are there to protect the Council. That is wrong. Councillors are there to represent the Public who elected them. Officers work for the members, not the other way round. If an officer as an employee of their Council is found to be negligent or fails to operate fairly and honestly at all times, then it is the duty of the members to ensure that person is dismissed and select a candidate more suitable to the task. SEE: the Royal Town Planning Institute - Code of Conduct and the words of Lord Templeman in:
In Hazell v Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council  2 AC 1 at p 36, Lord Templeman said:
object of a doctrine of ultra vires is the protection of the public,"
and at p 37 he emphasised that:
local authority owes a duty to its ratepayers to preserve ratepayers funds
and to arrange for proper administration."
far as the employment of staff is concerned, the council derived its
powers from s 112 of the Local Government Act 1972, which allowed it to:
"appoint such officers as they think necessary for the proper discharge of such of their . . . functions as fall to be discharged by them,"
It is the right of every ratepayer to lobby their Local Member and other Members who may have control over a related portfolio or other involvement in the subject matter at hand. This much is written in the Constitution of the Council. If a member of the public expresses concern as to the ability of an officer to act honestly and fairly in presenting reports to committee, or indeed if an officer is suspected of accepting bribes or failing to properly account for goods taken from site, or to declare his interests, then surely it is the duty of the members to fully investigate those complaints.
Officers should be made to disclose interests and especially so for planning officers in a position to profit from undisclosed back hand payments, simply by writing unbalanced reports to favour an applicant who is a mate. We have heard of cases where sub-contractors have been told to increase their bid substantially and promised the contract, provided the increase in the bid was paid to another company. Our investigations into these allegations are ongoing.
With thanks to the Wealden Action Group and other Action Groups across the country for the supply of real case history and supporting documents.
*THAT THE PUBLIC MAY KNOW*