Council statement April 2020

23/04/2020, PR9386

Wakefield city centre

​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 councillor.

“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.