Fleeton referred to panel

BAYSWATER councillor Brent Fleeton has been referred to the Local Government Standards Panel over a flyer he hand-delivered to 1000 houses in Noranda and Morley.

Cr Fleeton describes the flyer as a budget update which “included a double-sided letter signed by me on my letterhead, and three opinion pieces I had penned in the last few months relevant to what’s happening on Bayswater council and my issues with the state of our budget” (one piece, about the council moving investments from the coal sector, was published in the Voice on July 7).

Cr Fleeton’s flyers went out on August 20 and within days complaints had been made to Bayswater CEO Andrew Brien, who under state legislation was obliged to refer the matter to the LGSP.

The complaint alleges he had secured personal advantage or disadvantaged others by criticising a council decision, and “misuse of local government resources” for using the council logo on his letters.

In his assessment of the complaints, Mr Brien wrote; “it is clear from the letter that the councillor was acting in his capacity as an elected member of the City of Bayswater through the use of council letterhead and references to his position on council matters”.

Cr Fleeton is not up for election this year but the letter said: “I desperately want fresh faces on council who know how tough it is at the moment and vote accordingly”.

Mr Brien said this “could be detrimental to existing councillors”.

If the LGSP finds Cr Fleeton in breach, it could order him to make a public apology, or censure him.

Cr Fleeton said he “won’t be commenting on the specifics of the complaint” until it’s been before the panel but wanted to let ratepayers know about the complaint.

by DAVID BELL

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