Complaint made against the Mayor of Blyth investigated

Councillor Robert Parker, the mayor of Blyth, is believed to have been in a dispute with a colleague for more than 18 months

Councillor Robert Parker at Blyth’s war memorial in Ridley Park
Councillor Robert Parker at Blyth’s war memorial in Ridley Park

A mayor may be asked to stand down after another member of the council complained about him.

Councillor Robert Parker, the mayor of Blyth, is believed to have been in a dispute with a colleague for more than 18 months.

At a hearing of Northumberland County Council’s standards committee, which was held in private, the complaint against Coun Parker over his behaviour was discussed before a panel.

A final decision on whether it is recommended that he continues in his role, faces advice or no further action is due to be announced by the end of the month.

The complaint is believed to have been made by a member of the council over his conduct in 2012.

The council did not specify if the complaint had come from a councillor or one of the two town clerks. However they confirmed a hearing had taken place on December 11 at the Hirst Centre in Ashington.

Andy Thom, Chief Legal Officer for Northumberland County Council, said: “I can confirm that Councillor Robert Parker of Blyth Town Council was subject to a complaint under the Code of Conduct for Elected Members which was heard by the Council’s Standards Committee last week, a formal decision notice will be issued in due course.”

Just days before the meeting Mr Parker, of Ryal Close, was attending the refurbished Blyth Spartans Official Club Store to perform the shop’s ribbon cutting and unveiling.

Any complaint against a town or parish councillor for breaching their organisation’s code of conduct is now referred to the county council for investigation.

Among the list of actions which constitute a breach of Blyth Town Council’s standards, according to its website, is bullying, intimidating or attempting to intimidate a complainant, disclosing information given in confidence by anyone, or conduct which could reasonably be regarded as bringing a member’s office or authority into disrepute.

The toughest sanction the council could advise is that he no longer fulfils his role as mayor and stands down as the council’s chair. That course of action would have to be agreed upon by members of the town council and it is not likely the group will meet again until January.

Coun Parker is ward member for Cowpen and was selected to become mayor in 2011/2012 and again in 2013. The Journal contacted Mr Parker for a comment but he was unavailable.

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