Investigation into former Ribble Valley Council leader ended as 'not in the public interest'

Ken Hind
Ken Hind

Ribble Valley Borough Council has decided that it is not 'in the public interest' to continue with the investigation of a complaint made by a fellow councillor against its former leader Ken Hind.

The complaint, made against Mr Hind, centred on a claim of 'bullying' by the then planning committee chairman, fellow Conservative Coun. Susan Bibby, who was removed by the then council leader.

In a statement issued this week, the chief executive of Ribble Valley Borough Council, Mr Marshal Scott, said: "The complaint has been investigated by the council and that investigation was concluded in April, 2018. For the past 12 months we have tried to hold a hearing into the complaint which is the next stage following the completion of the investigation. Mr Hind has continually objected to the Hearing panel.

"Last Wednesday the Accounts and Audit Committee were asked whether to continue with the hearing stage of the complaint procedure in view of the fact that Mr Hind was no longer a councillor and that if he was found to have breached the member Code of Conduct any sanctions against him were limited," it continued. "The committee agreed it was not in the public interest to carry on with the complaint hearing."

In a statement released to the Press this week Mr Hind said: "In the 20 months it has taken RVBC to resolve this complaint, I have been maligned, criticised, and abused. My family have suffered huge stress. It illustrates the complaints procedure at local councils, based on the Localism Act 2011 is chaotic, not fit for purpose, and unworkable.

"As the Leader of the Council, I had to put the interests of the community first and that meant nominating the best people to carry important functions for the benefit of the public," he added. "If I was placed in the same position again I would make the same decision - in the public interest."