Boston
September 11, 2020 4.56 pm

Driving councillor resigning cabinet “not enough”

Opposition party wants him to quit as councillor too

Opposition councillors at Boston Borough Council say the resignation of a cabinet member after he was driving while attending a virtual meeting “does not go far enough”.

Bostonian Independent councillors Neill John Hastie and Peter Watson both believe Conservative Councillor David Brown should “bow out of the council altogether” after his actions were broadcast on a YouTube livestream of the authority’s cabinet.

Friday morning Councillor Brown stepped down as portfolio holder for culture and tourism and said he would cooperate fully with any investigation and that “with hindsight, I shouldn’t have joined the meeting whilst driving”.

But those across the benches say it’s not enough. Councillor Hastie said: “The whole situation is disgusting.

“He was elected to serve and represent the residents of his ward at all council meetings he’s involved in, not carry out paid employment during meetings.

“If he hasn’t got the time or commitment to be a portfolio holder he should have never accepted the position in the first place.

“Unfortunately he has not gone far enough and should resign from the council completely due to his recent actions.”

Councillor Watson said the cabinet meeting could “quite easily have turned in to a complete tragedy” and pointed to historic cases of drivers elsewhere distracted by their phones causing fatal accidents.

He pointed to the Nolan principles of conduct for councillors stating they should act in the public interest and with integrity.

“Merely apologising and resigning from cabinet is not enough for what the people of Boston deserve from Councillor Brown.

“As I now believe that Councillor Brown has finally realized and admitted that his actions were completely irresponsible, if he is truly sorry for what he has done, then it follows that he should resign his seat as a councillor as well.

“As a representative of the people of Kirton and Frampton, Councillor Brown should promote, support, and exhibit high standards of conduct, and be willing to challenge poor behaviour.

“It is very clear with what has transpired that Councillor Brown has failed dismally with all these disciplines and should respectfully bow out of the council altogether.”

Councillor Brian Rush, another Bostonian Independent, said there was a case to answer for all those in attendance who did not stop the councillor or call a halt to the meeting.

The incident has been reported to Lincolnshire Police and Boston Borough Council, who are both carrying out investigations.

In a brief conversation with Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines on Friday, Councillor Brown said he would not make any further comments until enquiries had concluded.

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