Gary Price: Powys councillor's suspension over code breach

Gary Price Gary Price has not decided whether or not to appeal

A councillor has been suspended from public office for a month following allegations he breached a code of conduct.

Gary Price, who represents Llandrindod Wells on Powys council, is said to have disclosed "sensitive information which was given to him in confidence".

The complaint relates to a letter Mr Price wrote to a newspaper about the council-owned Lakeside restaurant.

Mr Price said he had not decided whether or not to appeal.

New operators are being sought to run the restaurant in Llandrindod Wells following a demonstration last year over its future.

But the authority has said fears over its future are unfounded and it is committed to keeping it open.

Start Quote

The committee found that councillor Price had breached the code of conduct and that he should be suspended for a calendar month”

End Quote Powys council spokesman

Mr Price, who represents the ward of Llandrindod North and is a member of the Shires Independent Group, said: "Back in March 2012 an item went before the then cabinet about the Lakeside restaurant.

"I wrote a letter to the newspaper about the restaurant and the then portfolio holder for corporate governance made a complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

"The ombudsman investigated and said I had breached the members' code of conduct.

"I have not made my mind up about whether or not to appeal.

"I will say that the process has taken about 14 months from start to finish and you have got to ask if it is value for money."

'Confidential'

A council spokesman said Mr Price appeared before its standards committee last Thursday for an alleged breach of the code of conduct.

"The hearing, which was held before five independent people and two county councillors, alleged that councillor Price had breached the code of conduct for members in that he disclosed sensitive information which was given to him in confidence and that he knew or reasonably should have known, it to be confidential," said the spokesman.

"The committee found that councillor Price had breached the code of conduct and that he should be suspended for a calendar month."

The council said Mr Price had 21 days to appeal against the decision, with the suspension not starting until the appeal period was over or concluded.

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