PUBLISHING an independent report into East Hampshire District Council has been put on hold for an investigation into councillor conduct – by councillors.

The governance review report by inspector David Bowles was to go public on September 2.

Council leader Richard Millard and chief executive officer Gill Kneller said: “The initial review is now concluded, and we have a preliminary report.

“It recommends that some matters should be referred to the council’s standards committee which considers code of conduct issues. We are now referring them.

“Until those issues are concluded we cannot legally publish the governance review as we had previously expected.

“We will publish it once the matters have been through the standards committee process – which is expected to take approximately three months.

“In the interim we will be publishing a public report that outlines our ‘governance improvement programme’ showing the work already done to ensure our decision-making processes are fit for purpose.

“It will also show the immediate further steps we are planning to take.

“We will let you know when the code of conduct issues are concluded, and the governance review has been finalised and we will then publish it and ensure it is available for you.”

Councillors agree to follow a code of conduct, with alleged breaches looked at by the standards committee of six councillors.