Council’s deputy leader rapped

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The depute leader of Argyll and Bute Council has been censured for contravening two elements of the code of conduct for councillors.

Helensburgh councillor Gary Mulvaney was subject to a hearing last month in relation to the introduction of new parking restrictions near a sheltered housing development run by Dunbritton Housing Association in Cardross.

The Standards Commission for Scotland found that Councillor Mulvaney – who is still a member of Dunbritton’s board – had failed to declare an interest when the parking limits issue was discussed by the council’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee in December 2017.

A report by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland (ESC) prompted a hearing held in Helensburgh on January 18.

The hearing panel decided to censure Councillor Mulvaney, although the panel also noted his long service to public life as a councillor and were satisfied he had made no personal gain.

The panel’s report will be put before a full council meeting on Thursday, February 21.

Councillor Mulvaney said: ‘In practical terms, this was an issue whether the council put double yellow lines in a layby, which is adjacent to a small number of Dunbritton homes.

‘The hearing panel accepted that the matter was clearly one of road safety and that I was trying to act in the overall public interest. They agreed that I had a finely balanced judgement to make and that I was diligent in applying the code and acted in the proper manner.

‘However, in what was for them a finely balanced decision, they considered that when faced with such a fine judgement call, I should have erred on the side of caution and withdrawn. That is something I accept and will be bear in mind in the future.’