Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Housing councillor stepping down

A leading county councillor has stepped down from his executive post while a series of complaints are investigated by the public service ombudsman.

The management team at Flintshire council said Patrick Heesom had taken the step after the council referred matters to the watchdog.

Mr Heesom, who is an independent member, was in charge of the housing brief on the council cabinet.

Mr Heesom, who represents the Mostyn ward, has been asked to comment.

He will continue as planning committee vice-chairman and leader of the controlling independent group.

The council said the complaints were raised under its code of conduct.

In a statement, Flintshire's chief executive Colin Everett said its decision to refer the matter to the ombudsman had been "unusual and regrettable".

Mr Everett said the complaints referred to allegations of multiple breaches of the council's code of conduct.

He added: "The council has exhausted all other solutions in this case and the referral has been made as a last resort."

Council leader Arnold Woolley said: ""It is unfortunate and regrettable that these circumstances have come to be.

"However, councillor Heesom has reacted appropriately by standing down from his executive position voluntarily until matters are clarified and resolved."

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