No police investigation into Covid rule breaking town councillor
- Credit: Archant
Police have confirmed no action will be taken against a councillor who broke Covid quarantine rules by visiting a high street following a positive test.
Independent Swaffham Town Councillor, Lindsay Beech admitted to breaking her coronavirus isolation on January 7, by walking around Swaffham town centre without wearing a mask.
Ms Beech released a statement after residents took to social media to say she had been seen walking around the town after testing positive for coronavirus - as she "thought she was allowed to take exercise".
Norfolk Police confirmed the councillor was spoken to after the incident and Ms Beech refused to resign when the breach was discussed at a meeting of Swaffham Town Council (STC) on January 13.
At the meeting, eight councillors voted to refer Mrs Beech to the monitoring officer at Breckland Council, while Les Scott and Wendy Bensley abstained.
Once referred, the monitoring officer at the district council said they could not take action against her as they were under the impression that there was a police investigation and she was "not acting in her official capacity" at the time of the breach.
A spokesman said: "As Covid rules enforcement is a police matter and the alleged incident took place while the town council member was not acting in their official capacity as a councillor, in line with our Councillor Code of Conduct Policy we are unable to take investigatory action.”
Norfolk Police have since confirmed that there has been no investigation into her actions.
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A spokesman said: “The individual concerned was spoken to by officers and no further action was taken.”
Ms Beech is an elected member of STC, meaning she is not paid for her role but is given expenses to compensate for time on council business.
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Town councillors cannot be "sacked" from their role but can be referred to the monitoring officer for any breaches in the code of conduct or a "vote of no confidence" can be called.
Ms Beech was approached for comment but could not be reached.