Philip Grafton, the district council’s monitoring officer, had been asked by Andy Turner, the chairman of Chesterton and Kingston Parish Meeting, to make inquiries into whether interests had been properly declared by Cllrs Seccombe and Brain in the process leading up to the adoption of GLH into the council’s proposed core strategy.

Mr Turner also raised a question about a third councillor (not Cllr Howse).

After looking into the complaint, Mr Grafton wrote to Mr Turner and told him that “having carefully considered the matter” he believed that a prima facie case had been raised.

“Accordingly, I have decided that the complaints against Cllr Brain and Cllr Seccombe do merit a formal investigation,” wrote Mr Grafton.

And he added: “During the course of my initial enquiries an issue has also been raised in relation to Cllr Howse and I have decided to include those matters within the scope of the investigation as well.”

Mr Turner said that Mr Grafton had—of his own volition—initiated a formal investigation on similar lines with regard to a fourth councillor. Last Friday Mr Turner asked Mr Grafton to investigate a fifth councillor.

This article first appeared in the Herald on Thursday 17th July. For the latest South Warwickshire news pick up the paper each week for 60p.