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Councillor sends pre-action protocol letter contesting Code of Conduct breach finding

A councillor has sent a pre-action protocol letter to Eden District Council after alleging that its Code of Conduct assessments regarding comments he made online amount to a "clear serious breaching" of his human rights.

Cllr Jonathan Davies claims that the Council's Code of Conduct assessment did not follow Local Government Association guidance and breached articles 10, 14 and 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Eden Council found that Cllr Davies had breached the local authority's Code of Conduct over posts he published on Twitter and his blog.

However, the councillor said that the content of the Twitter post was "not aligned to my role as a councillor and was a personal expression of a view and opinion".

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He added that the other complaint regarding a blog post was "about a county council related issue that I am not a member of and am a resident in the area served by that council".

In a blog post announcing the decision, Cllr Davies said: "I firmly believe that Eden council has acted in a way that is not only beyond its powers to act but through its actions they have breached my Human Rights as an individual to the right to of expression to hold and ideas without interference by public authority."

A spokesperson for Eden District Council said: "The Council is satisfied with the process that was followed in the determination of the complaints made against Penrith Town Councillor, Jonathan Davies.

"Cllr Davies has been advised that he can make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsmen, if he is dissatisfied with the decision of the Complaints Assessment Panel. The Council will respond to Cllr Davies' pre-action protocol letter regarding his request for a judicial review in due course."

The Council has until 6 July to respond to the pre-action protocol letter.

Adam Carey

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