‘Reckless’ Councillor admits raising his hand to vote in a Zoom meeting while driving his car
- Councillor Andrew Wood was attending a Conway Council Scrutiny Committee
- He voted during the meeting while driving his car by raising his hand
A councillor who admitted raising his hand during a virtual council meeting while driving his car has escaped sanction following an investigation by the local authority.
Councillor Andrew Wood, who is an independent member of Conwy Council in North Wales was branded as ‘completely reckless’ over his actions in July.
However, both the Public Services Ombudsman and North Wales Police had told him that he faces no further action. The PSO accepted his actions were a ‘one-off’, while the police said it would not be in the public interest to prosecute Cllr Wood as no complaint was made at the time of the alleged offence.
Cllr Wood was attending a meeting of the council’s Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee which was held over Zoom.
Cllr Andrew Wood, pictured, raised his hand to vote at a council meeting being held over Zoom while driving his car. The Conway Council independent politician was told his actions were ‘reckless’
Despite an investigation by the Public Service Ombudsman, no action was taken against Cllr Wood, who admitted driving while voting at the virtual meeting
The independent politician had his phone fixed to the dashboard, but footage of the meeting showed the car was moving when he raised his hand to vote during a motion.
Opposition politicians claimed his actions could ‘quite easily have turned in to a complete tragedy’.
An investigation by the Public Services Ombudsman said he ‘demonstrated poor judgement and had the potential to bring the council into disrepute’.
Ombudsman Michelle Morris said: ‘The video footage from the first council meeting showed the member to be driving a vehicle whilst participating in the meeting and the member acknowledged that this was the case.
Cllr Wood, pictured, was told he faces no further action by the council watchdog. North Wales Police confirmed they are not investigating the allegations
‘The member felt it important that he attend all meetings. Subsequent videos showed the car either to be stationary or that the member was in the passenger seat.’
North Wales Police had not received a complaint and felt it would not now be in the public interest to investigate the matter. But the Ombudsman commented: ‘It is not the Ombudsman’s role to determine whether the members’ actions would have amounted to criminal behaviour.’
She ruled out any sanctions after describing it as a ‘one-off’. The meeting lasted for more than two hours and was live-streamed before being uploaded to the council’s YouTube channel.
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