Former mayor slams code of conduct

A FORMER town mayor has branded a new code of conduct "sneaky and horrible" because it demands councillors suspected of not abiding by it should be reported to officials.

A FORMER town mayor has branded a new code of conduct "sneaky and horrible" because it demands councillors suspected of not abiding by it should be reported to officials.

Clare Foss is one of two Aldeburgh stalwarts who have resigned from the town council in protest at the controversial code, which means parish and town councillors must reveal personal and financial details.

Mrs Foss, who runs the Moot Hall museum, and Lady Patricia Maddocks, tendered their resignations at a town council meeting on Monday. It voted by seven to four to adopt the code.

The seven-page document asks councillors to list their job, employer, property owned and investments, as well as information about clubs, societies and organisations to which they belong.

Mrs Foss, who was Mayor of Aldeburgh in 1993/94, said there were "horrible things" within the code, such as reporting councillors they thought had failed to comply with the code to a standards board.

"I think that's entirely sneaky and horrible. I don't approve of the intrusion into one's personal life," she added.

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Mrs Foss, 72, felt what councillors themselves did was one thing, but having to submit details about partners or spouses was quite another.

"When you add it all up together, I just felt that I was unable to sign to the code of conduct. I have no option," she said.

Although she agreed councillors should declare interests and felt some of the code was "absolutely right", she said the code had gone too far.

Mrs Foss has served for about seven years on the town council and has chaired the estates committee for the past three years.

"Obviously one will miss it to a certain extent," she said, adding she would still serve Aldeburgh through her work at the museum.

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