BOURNEMOUTH council's standard committee has ruled that former leader Stephen MacLoughlin did NOT breach the code of conduct by accessing porn on his council-owned laptop.

After a five hour meeting at the town hall this morning, the standards committee agreed with a QC's report commissioned by the council, which said that because Cllr MacLoughlin was not on council business during the occasions the porn was accessed, the code of conduct did not apply to him.

The commissioning of the report was unprecendented. The official Standards Board investigation said Cllr MacLoughlin HAD breached the code in two areas.

The Standards Board Code of Conduct is mandatory for all councils. It contains the following paragraph:

Where your authority provides you with resources (for example telephone, computer and other IT facilities, transport or support from council employees), you must only use these resources or employees for carrying out your local authority business and any other activity which your authority has authorised you to use them for.

You must be familiar with the rules applying to the use of these resources made by your authority. Failure to comply with your authority’s rules is likely to amount to a breach of the Code of Conduct.

Bournemouth Borough Council's constutition says in addition:

You must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute.

Full story and reaction in tomorrow's Daily Echo.

See the full Standards Board code of conduct by clicking the link below (PDF file)

Standards Board recommended Code of Conduct