BELOW is the actual, unedited Herefordshire Council response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by a Ledbury resident, concerning the costs of investigating complaints concerning Ledbury Town Council.

The resident who launched the FOI request has asked not to be named.

  • Although the document names Richard Hadley, the subjects of the recent code of conduct investigation by Herefordshire Council were actually councillors Liz Harvey and Andrew Harrison, who were cleared of bullying complaints made against them.

Dear Sir,


Further to previous correspondence, your request for information has now been considered and the council’s response is set out below:

Q1 Breakdown of costs incurred as a result of an investigation into complaints concerning Ledbury town council and Cllr Liz Harvey and member of the public Richard Hadley. Please can these be broken down into:

a) Costs incurred in the investigations by any external organisation

A. The total cost of the external investigation in connection with complaints received concerning Ledbury Town Council is £16,800 (inclusive of VAT). Please note that this figure cannot be broken down further to amounts spent on complaints concerning named individuals / councillors.

b) The costs incurred by council staff in the resolution of the complaints

A. With regards to the costs to the council relating to Code of Conduct complaints, as we have a statutory duty under the Localism Act to have a Members’ Code of Conduct and a process for dealing with complaints of any alleged breaches, the costs are not broken down. There are two members of staff dealing with Code of Conduct complaints as part of their role, the Monitoring Officer and one Democratic Services officer providing administrative support, but their time (and associated costs) spent in dealing with these complaints are not recorded separately from the time that they have spent on other work, and therefore the costs cannot be broken down.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request or you would like a review of the response provided, further information regarding our review procedure is available in the ‘Internal Review Procedure for EIR and FOI requests’ which is published on Herefordshire Council’s website via the following link:

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 745