A COUNCILLOR has been found to have breached standards by proposing pot hole repairs without declaring they were for his own street.

The decision of Hyndburn Standards Committee concluded Peel ward councillor Graham Jones was in ‘technical breach’ of rules in suggesting unadopted roads Annie Street, Hodder Street and Manor Street be treated, without declaring he lived in Hodder Street.

In total, £2,000-worth of repairs to the roads was later agreed by Peel and Barnfield Area council.

Coun Jones, who is also the borough’s opposition leader and is currently bidding to become Hyndburn’s next MP, said the decision was however “a vindication” as the committtee concluded it was a “one-off incident” and that “there was no malice or intent of personal gain”.

However the committee added that a ‘reasonable person’ would regard the issue as one “likely to prejudice Coun Jones’ judgement” as it “could affect the value and sale of his property”.

Appearing before the standards hearing he claimed that he had declared an interest, which was simply not recorded in the minutes.

Four witnesses for Coun Jones could not definitely recall this, however the Area Council manager had “a clear recollection that no interest was declared”.

Additionally the ‘experienced’ minute taker was found to have recorded proceedings using the Pitman Shorthand system.

The committee concluded “on the balance of probabilty” that Coun Jones had not declared an interest, but had done so at the next meeting in February.

Their decision states they were “satisfied Coun Jones did not attempt to conceal his address from the area council”.

Speaking after the decision Coun Jones said: “I feel completely vindicated because it was a simple error in the minutes which turned into a witch hunt.

“Those who had attended previous meetings knew I lived in Hodder Street. The commitee concluded that I was innocent of any wrong doing”.

Leader of Hyndburn Borough Council Peter Britcliffe said: “The ironic thing is Coun Jones is well known for reporting everybody - and has reported me more times than I can remember - yet he is the first Hyndburn councillor to have been found guilty of any breach.”