Councillor gets slap on the wrists from Standards Commission

Wishaw councillor Rosa Zambonini
Wishaw councillor Rosa Zambonini

The Standards Commission for Scotland has censured Wishaw councillor Rosa Zambonini for a breach of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.

At a hearing on April 6 in the Dalziel Building, Motherwell, a panel found that Councillor Zambonini, admitted that she had failed to register her employment as an office manager for James Dornan MSP, until August 8, 2016, although her employment commenced on May 23, 2016.

This was despite the Code and Ethical Standards Regulations requiring councillors to register any remunerated employment within one month.

The hearing panel noted that Councillor Zambonini publicly announced, via a posting on a social media site, on May 22, 2016, that she would now be working for the MSP.

It was accepted, therefore, that there had been no deliberate attempt on her part to conceal her employment.

The panel chairwoman Julie Ward said: “Whilst accepting there was no intent to conceal information, the hearing panel considered that the requirement to register remunerated employment is an integral part and absolute requirement of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct as it provides the opportunity for openness and transparency in a councillor’s role and affords members of the public the opportunity to consider whether a councillor’s interests may or may not influence the decision-making process.”

Councillor Zambonini was not present for the hearing and previously announced she will not be standing in next month’s election.

She tweeted: “Standards Commission recognised I made a mistake, but no action taken against me. Thanks for the support of those who know my character.”