A Lichfield councillor did breach Lichfield District Council’s code of conduct, it has emerged.
The local authority has released the report into a hearing over a complaint Cllr David Leytham had not listed his wife’s business on his register of interests.
His previous register of interests showed only that he and his wife held invigilation roles with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. However, an updated document posted since the local elections in May shows that his partner is a sole trader of The Pretty Little Parlour, which has supplied plants and floral displays to Lichfield City Council.
Cllr Leytham had previously been Mayor of Lichfield City Council before losing his seat in May. He was elected unopposed to Lichfield District Council in the Whittington and Streethay ward.
The report from the hearing on Monday said: “The committee agreed that a breach of the Code of Conduct for Lichfield District Council had occurred, in that Cllr Leytham had failed to register the business of his spouse and also failed to register the existence of a contractual relationship between the City Council and Pretty Little Parlour.
“The committee found that Cllr Leytham had not understood the letter and spirit of the Code of Conduct and resolved to censure Cllr Leytham and requested that he undertake Code of Conduct training.”
“It is clear that there is an active business”
A council investigator said that although Cllr Leytham had claimed the business was more of a hobby than an active business, the Pretty Little Parlour Company’s social media did not support this view.
The report added: “Given that Cllr Leytham identified the business undertaken by his spouse in 2015, it is difficult to see why this information was not then included in the February 2018 form.
“Cllr Leytham stated that the nature of the business had changed in recent years due to the ill-health of his wife. He stated that the work had been scaled back and what was now undertaken was now more akin to a hobby than an active business.
“I have viewed the Facebook page of the Pretty Little Parlour Company. It is clear from this that there is an active business.
“It would appear from the posts on this page and from information provided by Cllr Leytham that the nature of the business has changed. However, it is also clear that it does operate as a business.
“As such, it should have been included on the register of members interests form by Cllr Leytham.”
“Invoices were issued and paid”
The links with Lichfield City Council were also identified by the investigator after it emerged payments had been made to her company.
The report continued: “The register of members interests form completed by Cllr Leytham for Lichfield City Council dated February 2018 states that there are no contracts between the parties.
“It is clear from the posts on Facebook that that the Pretty Little Parlour Company did provide goods/services to the city council.
“The list of invoices from Lichfield City Council shows that from May 2016 to the end of 2018 11 invoices were issued and paid.
“When asked about this element, Cllr Leytham stated that it never occurred to him to amend his form as it never occurred to him that there was a business arrangement.
“He stated that the work undertaken by his wife for the city council was either done at cost or less. He stated that his wife had given around £500 in silk flowers to the city council.
“Cllr Leytham accepts that he should have amended his form to show the relationship and transactions between his wife and Lichfield City Council.”