Ian Hall – Axminster Rural and Axminster DCC
Ian Chubb – Newbridges and Whimple and Blackdown DCC
Tom Wright – Budleigh
John Humphreys – Exmouth Littleham
Andrew Moulding – Axminster Town
That’s a clean sweep for Axminster which must give the boys plenty to talk about at their Lodge(s). And all of them Conservative majority councillors wearing many hats in many posts, both at DCC and EDDC.
And that’s only the ones who declare it!
Why is it a problem? This very old article (1966) is still pertinent today:
“Freemasons who sat on a council’s planning committee have been found guilty of malpractice after a lengthy inquiry by the local-government ombudsman.
The investigation into their activities on the council at Canvey Island, Essex, began after complaints that they had given a fellow lodge member the go-ahead to build a leisure complex. …”
The ombudsman said:
“Freemasonry is generally viewed with suspicion among non-Masons not least because of the secrecy attached to the `craft’ … in my view, knowing that a councillor and a planning applicant are Freemasons and members of the same lodge, members of the public could reasonably think that such a private and exclusive relationship might influence the member when he came to consider the planning application.”
(where you can also see details of other councils and councillors in Devon).
Though, nowadays, we don’t have a national standards board or a “National Code of Local Government Conduct” – both were abolished by national government some years ago.
Leaving each council to decide on its own standards – hhhmmmmm!