Last September Authority Chairman Jacquie Burgess and Head of Planning Cally Smith asked the Solicitor and Monitoring Officer to investigate whether the joint purchase of a small keelboat would infringe any of the Authority’s codes of conduct.
Piero Ionta, the then Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, cleared the purchase and it went ahead. Subsequently, Victoria McNeil, the Authority’s Monitoring Officer at that time, reviewed a complaint from a member of the Authority regarding the purchase and concluded there was no wrongdoing.
Jacquie and Cally are clear that the joint purchase has not affected their professionalism or decision making. However they appreciate that there may be a perception otherwise and therefore Jacquie has bought the boat fully so it is no longer jointly owned.