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Bexley councillor ordered to take anger management training

PUBLISHED: 14:03 13 August 2010

Bexley councillor Geraldine Lucia-Hennis

Bexley councillor Geraldine Lucia-Hennis

Archant

A councillor who had a row with a resident at a public meeting has been ordered to have anger management training by a complaints sub-committee.

Bexley council upheld a complaint by Alan Thompson against Crayford Tory councillor Geraldene Lucia-Hennis last month, ruling that she breached the members’ code of conduct by arguing with him at the Crayford Community and Business Forum on July 22 last year.

The standards complaints sub-committee stated that her comments and actions towards Mr Thompson ‘could have been perceived by him as intimidatory and intended to threaten him’ and said that she did not treat him “with respect”.

The ruling, published last week, also stated that she had brought her office and the authority into disrepute and suspended her from further Crayford Community and Business Forum meetings for three months from September 1.

It said: “The sub-committee agreed that the most appropriate sanction was for councillor Lucia-Hennis to undertake training on the relevant provisions of the code of conduct and when the code applies and to attend a session on dealing with stressful and confrontational situations.

“She should submit a written apology to the council in a form acceptable to the standards complaints sub-committee.”

Mrs Lucia-Hennis can appeal the decision within 28 days.

She told the Times: “According to the council I am a councillor 24 hours a day, seven days a year. I don’t agree with that. That is all I am going to say on the matter.”

This is not the first time Mrs Lucia-Hennis, who retained her seat in May, has been disciplined by the standards sub-committee.

In August last year, it was ruled that she failed to follow the code by not disclosing a personal and prejudicial interest at a planning meeting on August 28, 2008.

She spoke and voted against plans to turn Crayford town hall into a restaurant without disclosing that she and her husband Peter ran the Charlotte pub just minutes away.

The sub-committee found that she had failed to follow the code of conduct but had not breached it deliberately and was therefore given a censure and ordered to have two training sessions.

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