The Argyll Rural Schools Network (ARSN) have lodged a complaint with Argyll & Bute Council’s monitoring officer about the Council’s Spokesperson for Education & Lifelong Learning, Councillor Ellen Morton, taking personal responsibility for the identification of 12 schools for pre-consultation.
Specifically, ARSN are highlighting that the Spokesperson has clearly transgressed into matters of operational management of Council services and is in breach of the Code of Conduct for Councillors. This clearly states that a Councillor’s role is, to ‘determine policy and to participate in decisions on matters placed before you, not to engage in direct operational management of the Council’s services.’
The complaint further stresses that questions raised during the March 3rd Council meeting highlighted that the criteria and evaluation process applied by the Spokesperson were, at that stage, unknown to the majority of Councillors. As such, the Council came to a decision without being provided with sufficiently complete or competent information.
An ARSN Spokesperson commented: “It is quite apparent that the Education Spokesperson has not applied a fair and transparent evaluation process. That she has approached this exercise in an entirely subjective manner, and sidelined council officer involvement, leaves it wide open to accusations of political bias. This is why we have lodged a formal complaint and require the decision reached on the 3rd of March declared invalid.’