Council statement April 2020
Gillian Marshall, Wakefield Council’s Chief Legal
Officer, said: “We are aware that Cllr Alex Kear has been charged with
extremely serious crimes.
“Central government has essentially left local councils
powerless to take action in these situations. We do not have any authority to
remove elected members from their position, regardless of the severity of their
alleged crimes. Therefore unless Cllr Kear chooses to resign, he remains a
“As soon as we were made aware of the investigation by
West Yorkshire Police we took all the appropriate safeguarding measures within
our control and we will continue to do so.
Under the Localism Act every Council has
to adopt a Code of Conduct and arrangements for dealing with allegations
against Councillors. The relevant section (s28(4)) precludes dealing with
allegations any other way. There are no powers to suspend or remove councillors.
An elected member can only be removed by a democratic vote at a local election,
resignation or if they receive a custodial sentence in excess of three months.