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Independent councillor breaches council's code of conduct for second time

An independent councillor who breached the council’s code of conduct for a second time should be removed from one of the panels he sits on, according to the borough’s monitoring officer.

Mary Severin made the recommendation after accepting a complaint made against Cllr Wisdom Da Costa by council leader Simon Dudley.

The saga began in July when a complaint was upheld against the Clewer North councillor regarding social media comments he made following a meeting of the Maidenhead Development Management Panel three months before.

Cllr Dudley, a non-panel member, had spoken in favour of a Shanly Homes development in Oldfield Road at the meeting.

Cllr Da Costa posted on Facebook saying ‘there might well be a role for the police in this matter’ regarding the speech.

His comments were later found to be ‘unacceptable’ with the council’s monitoring officer raising concerns about the harm they could cause to the borough’s reputation.

But following the decision Cllr Da Costa made a subsequent social media post which ‘effectively repeated the allegations all over again', Mrs Severin said.

She added: “I don’t accept it was necessary to repeat what he said again for the purposes of explaining his actions to the public.”

Leader of the Opposition Cllr Lynne Jones responded to the decision by writing to the council to say she had concerns over the decision-making process regarding the complaint.

She said the council leader posted a link to the initial complaint decision on social media himself meaning Cllr Da Costa’s comments were already in the public domain.

She also questioned why a request by the independent councillor for a legal consult had been denied by the council.

Cllr Da Costa has been approached for comment.

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