Council Leader breached Code of Conduct

AM AND MP COMPLAINT VINDICATED

The Public Service Ombudsman for Wales is of the view that the leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Councillor Kevin Madge breached the Councillor Code of Conduct.

In the view of the Ombudsman, Councillor Madge used, or authorised others to use, the resources of the authority improperly for political purposes.

In the view of the Ombudsman, the press release issued in the name of Councillor Madge on 14th September 2012 included both inaccurate and misleading statements.

In the view of the Ombudsman, Councillor Madge has, on this occasion, walked a very fine line.

In the view of the Ombudsman, the authority’s resources should not have been used in this fashion.

While not recommending any further action, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales has confirmed Councillor Kevin Madge has, in his opinion, breached the Councillor Code of Conduct in relation to the press release issued by the County Council on 14th September 2012.

In the press release, which referred to the proposed Sainsbury’s supermarkets in Llandeilo and Cross Hands, Councillor Madge accused Plaid Cymru politicians Rhodri Glyn Thomas and Jonathan Edwards of “deliberately trying to sabotage” the development of a doctor’s surgery, health centre and care home in Cross Hands and school improvements to Ysgol Maes yr Yrfa.

Having undertaken a formal investigation into the complaint against the Labour Council Leader, the Ombudsman has today stated the press release contained both inaccurate and misleading statements; that authority resources should not have been used; and that the council leader has “walked a very fine line”.

A spokesman for Mr Thomas and Mr Edwards said the Plaid duo welcome the findings of the Ombudsman’s investigation into Councillor Madge’s comments and his improper use of public resources to carry out a politicised attack on them, and called for Councillor Madge to issue a full public apology.

The spokesman for Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM and Jonathan Edwards MP said:

“Nobody goes into politics expecting not to receive a couple of low blows from your opponents, especially when your main rival is the Labour party. However, at the heart of any democratic system there has to be political integrity – especially from a leader of a public authority.

“Mr Thomas and Mr Edwards therefore welcome the findings of the Ombudsman and believe his comments vindicate entirely their complaint against the Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council.

“Given the conclusions of the Ombudsman, Councillor Madge would do well to consider whether he is surrounding himself with the right advisors.

“In the meantime, however, he should issue a full public apology for the misuse of public resources and for his inaccurate and misleading statements.”

ENDS

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