The owners of No 9, Mill Leas, Lower Black House Hill, Hythe are Mr Richard James Hubbert & Annette Jewell. They applied for planning permission on the 02/10/2015 to erect a detached bungalow with off street parking. The planning application reference is Y15/0988/SH
In April 2015, Mrs Jewell & Mr Hubbert were assentors for Clllr Owen when he stood for election in May 2015. (See where this is going …)
At the planning and licensing committee, Tuesday 26th July @ 7pm in the Council Chamber, Item 7 Minute No 3 – Y15/0988/SH, a one Mr D Green, a neighbour, spoke against the application and Cllr David Owen (below) spoke for the application
Mrs Jewell & Mr Hubbert both live in Cllr Owen’s Hythe Ward, and live within spitting distance of his home.
To stand for election one needs a Proposer, a Seconder and Assentors, ten people in all. Well below are Cllr David Owen’s Proposer, Seconder and Assentors. Oh and look there are Mrs Jewell and Mr Hubbert’s names, now fancy that.
Name of Proposer (*), Seconder (**) and Assentors
Meurice Nicholas *
Belcourt Louis E R **
Hubbert Richard J
Owen Martin L G
Pearson Lucille E
Owen Catherine A
Now while Cllr Owen was speaking in support of the planning application for his neighbours Mrs Jewell and Mr Hubbert, he never mentioned that he knew them personally, nor did him mention they assented him on his nomination form for election in April 2015.
Under Shepway District Council’s code of conduct, Cllrs must act in conformity with the Seven Principles of Public Life. One of these principles is Integrity – that ‘Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefit for themselves, their family or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interest and relationships’
Now as we said, Cllr Owen never declared his relationship with Mrs Jewell or Mr Hubbert, so did Cllr Owen fall short of the principle of Integrity?
To us it would appear so, but it is of no consequence as Cllr Len Laws (UKIP Leader) proposed the application and it was seconded by Cllr Jenny Holloingsbee (Deputy Leader Con)
The link between the parties was drawn to Shepway District Council Monitoring Officer’s (MO) attention. The MO concluded there was no interest to declare.
So are you as a member of the public – a reasonable person – satisfied that Cllr David Owen (Con) did not take a decision in order for his friends to gain something?
We’ll leave you to decide if Cllr David Owen both a District & Hythe Town Councillor, is or is not a man of integrity.
If you wish to complain about Cllr David Owen’s behaviour you can do so by filling in SDC’s Councillors Code of Conduct Complaint Form
Nothing ventured, Nothing gained.