St Albans councillor suspended for just one meeting

PUBLISHED: 16:11 12 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

A FORMER parish councillor who resigned partly over the behaviour of the chairman is angry that he has only been rapped over the knuckles after complaints made about him. Cllr Keith Stammers, 64, has been suspended for a month after being investigated b

A FORMER parish councillor who resigned partly over the behaviour of the chairman is angry that he has only been "rapped over the knuckles" after complaints made about him.

Cllr Keith Stammers, 64, has been suspended for a month after being investigated by St Albans District Council (SADC) over complaints including being rude to a member of the public and intimidating a fellow member of Wheathampstead parish council.

Although the committee found three out of the five breaches of conduct proved they decided to suspend him for a month.

Former parish councillor Lisa Hobden, one of the two complainants who brought the matter to the attention of the district council's standards committee, said: "What was the point of our trying to highlight this man's deficiencies when they just give him a holiday during which time he will only miss one meeting. They should have asked him to resign.

"I gave up after two years on the council because of the infighting at parish council meetings."

A mentor was called in to deal with the infighting but Mrs Hobden said it had not really helped and she understood the atmosphere at meetings was still bad although improved since Cllr Iain Begg took over as chairman.

Matters proved against Cllr Stammers included misreporting a telephone conversation in relation to a parish clerk's working hours and salary, failing to honour a commitment to a village preservation group and failing to apologise for doing so.

He was also found to have been rude to a member of the public to whom he wrote a letter of apology when advised to do so. He was not found to have "intimidated" Councillor Jacqui Turner, the other complainant.

Cllr Stammers, who is a part-time volunteer for St Albans Centre for Voluntary Services, was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

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