By Roddy AshworthA LEADING councillor has been reported to a Government watchdog over an allegation he abused his position for political advantage.Terry Sutton, a Liberal Democrat member of Colchester Borough Council, has been reported to the Standards Board for England by Tim Young, the Labour group leader on the council, and Robert Davidson, a Conservative cabinet member.
By Roddy Ashworth
A LEADING councillor has been reported to a Government watchdog over an allegation he abused his position for political advantage.
Terry Sutton, a Liberal Democrat member of Colchester Borough Council, has been reported to the Standards Board for England by Tim Young, the Labour group leader on the council, and Robert Davidson, a Conservative cabinet member.
The allegation against Mr Sutton, the council cabinet member with responsibility for waste and street scene, concerns a photo call that took place during the run-up to a by-election for the Wivenhoe Quay ward in April.
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At the time of the photo call, special restrictions had been placed on councillors and by-election candidates, governing how they could be publicly associated with Colchester Borough Council staff and services.
Mr Davidson claimed Mr Sutton had breached these rules because he had a picture taken of himself alongside the Liberal Democrat by-election candidate, Jeremy Jacobs, in front of a new council waste lorry.
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The photograph was later printed in election literature on behalf of the Liberal Democrats that was distributed in the Wivenhoe Quay ward.
Mr Davidson said he believed Mr Sutton had breached paragraphs 4 and 5a of the councillors' code of conduct.
The Standards Board for England is understood to have received a complaint about Mr Sutton's conduct, but a spokeswoman declined to comment.
Once a complaint has been received by the Board, it is first looked at by a referrals unit to see if there appears to be a case to answer, after which a formal investigation takes place.
Mr Sutton said: “I am aware there is a complaint. However, it would be inappropriate for me to comment until I have seen the relevant papers.”