East Devon District Councillors have voted to commission an independent report to investigate the circumstances of how former Councillor John Humphreys came to be nominated and bestowed the award of an aldermanship in December 2019.
The motion approved by councillors at the East Devon District Council (EDDC) Full Council meeting on Wednesday 20 April stated:
That the Council commissions an independent report by the Local Government Association or the Centre for Public Scrutiny or another appropriate independent body to be expeditiously brought to Cabinet to provide a clear understanding how John Humphreys, despite his arrest in May 2016 continued to serve as a Councillor until May 2019, retained his position as ‘Lead Member for Exmouth’ and went on to be bestowed the honour of an alderman by this Council in December 2019.
In particular the report will focus on the circumstances of how John Humphreys came to be nominated and bestowed the award of an aldermanship despite being under criminal investigation at the time.
The Council will put on hold the remainder of the scrutiny recommendations (on the future of appointing alderman and alderwomen) pending the receipt and consideration of the independent report by the Cabinet.”
EDDC’s Chief Executive will prepare a report for consideration at a future meeting of the council’s Cabinet.