Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire councillor faces code of conduct hearing

A Gloucestershire councillor has denied allegations he has been abusive, aggressive or misused his position.

Liberal Democrat Esmond Jenkins is facing an inquiry after two complaints were made about his behaviour towards council staff and the public.

A report by the Standards Board for England found he had breached the councillors' code of conduct and brought his office into disrepute.

A local Standards Committee hearing will take place from 17 to 20 January.

Mr Jenkins is a Liberal Democrat councillor for the Conservative-controlled Cotswold District Council.

He was instrumental in exposing the Cotswold Water Park Society fraud which resulted in the charity's chief executive Dennis Grant being imprisoned in July for paying £650,000 of trust funds into his own account.

Suspension threat

Now, following two complaints made in March 2011, Standards for England officers have found Mr Jenkins has breached the council's code of conduct.

The independent report found Mr Jenkins had failed to treat others with respect, bullied another person, used his position improperly to obtain advantage and brought his office into disrepute.

Mr Jenkins denies the allegations and claims it is a politically motivated campaign to discredit him.

The council's Standards Committee conducting the hearing will consist of five members without political affiliation, three of whom are independent of the council.

If found guilty Mr Jenkins could face a six month suspension from sitting on the council.

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