|A section of the Terms of Enagagement: Coucillors were encouraged to publically|
name and shame Cllr Schofield before the case was even submitted to the Ombudsman!
The case against him was put together by David Bowles, the Welsh Government appointed interim Managing Director to Anglesey County Council until last year. Not content with just referring Cllr Schofield to the Ombudsman, Mr Bowles also effectively ordered Councillors to "robustly name and shame" Cllr Schofield, eject him from their Groupings, and "take any and all opportunities to expose and marginalise" him as part of the controversial 'Terms of Engagement' he had drawn up to regulate councillor behaviour. It was the introduction of this disastrous document which caused an extraordinary and irreparable fissure amongst councillors, leading over time directly to the Welsh Government's decision to impose Commissioners on Ynys Môn, the unprecedented decision to postpone local elections here, and the outright attempt to 'rig' the local electoral boundaries on the Island.
A document from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, dated 20th February 2012, which summarises their decision not to pursue the case against Mr Schofield any further says:
"The evidence obtained did not conclusively support the allegations in the complaint or completely exonerate Councillor Schofield of the allegations against him. The evidence in the main was contradictory and largely uncorroborated. In these circumstances the Ombudsman found that a referral to the Standards Committee or Adjudication Panel for Wales was not appropriate."It is known that Mr Bowles, the most well paid Civil Servant in Wales at the time, spent a great deal of public money pursuing this case against Cllr Schofield — therefore for the Ombudsman's office to now say that the evidence was "contradictory and largely uncorroborated" and that pursuing it any further was "not appropriate" seriously calls into question the judgement of Mr Bowles and those in the Welsh Government who appointed him.
Considering the dramatic and unwelcome knock-on effects Mr Bowles decision making has had on our governance here in Ynys Môn it must surely be time for those within the Council who were party to the drafting of the Terms of Engagement to consider their positions. Likewise it is now also absolutely clear that the Welsh Government's interventions into Ynys Môn been both ruinously expensive and disastrously inept. Will they take any responsibility for the mess they have been more than partially responsible in creating?
Mr Bowles' full 'Terms of Engagement' are below:
Terms of Engagement