Two York councillors ordered to stand down during investigation into ‘serious allegations’

The council chamber at York Guildhall. Photograph: City of York Council
30 Aug 2017 @ 10.34 pm
| News

Two York councillors have been told to relinquish their cabinet roles while their conduct is investigated.

Cllr Nigel Ayre
Conservative leader of City of York Council David Carr has required two Liberal Democrat councillors, Keith Aspden and Nigel Ayre, to stand aside from the ruling Executive Committee for the time being.

Cllr Aspden is deputy leader of the council and held the economic development and community engagement portfolio.

Cllr Ayre held the culture, leisure and tourism brief.

They must stand aside from the executive pending a council standards committee investigation into possible breaches of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.

‘Best they take a step back’

Deputy council leader Keith Aspden and leader David Carr

No details have been given of the allegations against Cllrs Aspden and Ayre, but they are described as serious.

Council leader David Carr said: “Following external legal advice and in accordance with the powers granted to me under the CYC constitution, I have required Cllr Aspden and Cllr Ayre to stand aside from their duties as Executive Committee members pending the outcome of a standards committee investigation.”

He added:

This action is not an attempt to pre-judge the findings of the standards committee.

But given the seriousness of the allegations at issue I have determined that in order for the administration to continue to function effectively that it is best for Cllr Aspden and Cllr Ayre to take a step back from their Executive duties at this time.

A spokesman for City of York Council said: “It would be inappropriate for us to comment further while an investigation is underway or before the standards committee has had the opportunity to meet.”

Tories and Lib Dems have shared roles on the executive since forming a coalition following elections in May 2015.

The next listed meeting for the joint standards committee, chaired by Lib Dem councillor Carol Runciman, is Wednesday, October 4.

You can read the recently revised Code Of Conduct for York councillors here.