A meeting of a Wokingham Borough Council committee that reviews misconduct allegations was cut short due to concerns that it was “unconstitutional”.

The Standards Committee meeting was stopped after just 23 minutes on Monday, January 11, because three members of the council’s senior decision making group – known as the Executive – were sitting on the committee.

The council’s constitution states that “only one” executive member can sit on the committee and “the leader of the council is not entitled to be a member”.

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But Cllr John Halsall, leader of the council, Cllr John Kaiser, deputy leader of the council, and Cllr Wayne Smith, executive member for planning, were all in attendance.

“We are not meant to be having three Executive members on this Standards Committee, so this meeting is unconstitutional,” said Cllr Imogen Shepherd-DuBey (Liberal Democrat).

Andrew Moulton, the council’s monitoring officer, said she had made “a fair point that we have to look at”.

He added: “I think it may be appropriate for us to adjourn tonight’s meeting, given what Cllr Shepherd-DuBey has drawn to our attention, just so we can reconvene and make sure we are not contravening the council’s constitution here.

“I’ve only just seen that particular point this evening, so I would need time to look at that properly.

“This Standards Committee has been operating for some time now.”

During that meeting, the council were due to discuss allegations made against Cllr Shepherd-DuBey and Cllr Andy Croy (Labour).

They have both been cleared after they were accused of breaking social distancing rules when they made an appearance on TV.

A complaint was made by an anonymous member of the public after the councillors appeared on a BBC South news report in June 2020 about a campaign to save BBQ King Kebab Van.

But the Standards Committee concluded there “was no evidence” to suggest the councillors had breached the council’s Code of Conduct.