OVER eighteen-thousands-pounds of taxpayer’s cash has been spent investigating what the Peterborough Council leader John Holditch has described as ‘tit-for-tat’ complaints made against councillors.
While the city struggles with a reduced budget and cuts to services, at least five investigations into councillors have been carried out – mainly into the conduct of Labour councillors.
Much of the issue relates to aggressive or bullying comments on social media, personal spats, and general bickering.
Speaking to the Peterborough Telegraph, Council leader John Holdich said he regretted cash being spent on investigations into elected members, and asked that the government change rules surrounding the disciplinary process.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt the system doesn’t work effectively” he said. “If you’re found guilty there are very few sanctions you can implement.
“One of the things in my lifetime in the council which I’ve regretted is I’ve not been able to modify people’s behaviour. It’s ridiculous – it’s tit-for-tat and really shouldn’t happen between grown-ups.
“I regret the £18,000 which is money we could spend on services if people just respected one another, but it’s the only option we’ve got.
“I find it incomprehensible they really can’t behave themselves. I’ve made representations to the Government to improve the behaviour of people in public life, and for that we need sanctions.
“The Government needs to come out with a set of standards for public life and if people don’t abide by them they can be suspended or can’t stand again. Someone needs to do something about it before it gets out of hand. It’s playground stuff.”