A COUNCILLOR has been found to have breached BCP Council's code of conduct in relation to bullying and failing to show respect.

The elected member who was subject to the allegation was instructed to provide the complainant with a letter of apology.

This outcome was reached by BCP Council's standards committee following the work of an independent investigator.

The name of the councillor who breached the code of conduct and the exact nature of the complaint has not been released publicly by the council.

Similarly, the discussion of the investigator's report and the outcome reached at last month's standards committee meeting took place in private, with press and public excluded.

Brief minutes from the meeting state: "The investigator concluded that there were two grounds with sufficient evidence to uphold the complaint.

"The committee was asked to consider the investigator’s report. Committee members questioned the investigator regarding points of clarification and accuracy.

"In response to a concern raised, the committee was advised of the reasons why the Investigator did not feel it was appropriate or necessary to have a meeting with the complainant.

"The independent investigator left the meeting whilst the committee considered the recommendations.

"The committee considered the recommendations and discussed possible sanctions for non-compliance.

"There was some discussion over the timescales for the commencement of the 14 day period and it was felt appropriate to start it on the first working day of 2022."

It was resolved that the findings of the investigator be accepted and the subject councillor be requested to furnish the complainant with a letter of apology within 14 days of January 4. Should they fail to do so, a report of non-compliance would be presented to full council.

When asked by the Daily Echo this week if the apology had been provided, a BCP Council spokesperson said: "The notification of the decision following the standards committee was delayed and as a consequence additional time has been afforded to the subject councillor.

"The deadline for the provision of the letter of apology has been extended to 1 February. The complainant has been advised of this extended period."

Asked why the committee discussion on the matter was done in private and the councillor who breached the code of conduct had not been named, the spokesperson said: "The reason why the matter was held in private is because the standards Committee, on the advice of officers agreed that the public interest in holding the meeting in public was outweighed by the potential for harm to persons named in the reports to Committee and to treat such documents as exempt under Schedule 12A Local Government Act 1972."