A BANISHED councillor has had his disqualification from office suspended pending a High Court appeal.
Mostyn councillor Patrick Heesom was told at the end of an employment tribunal in July that he would be banned from serving as an elected representative for two-and-a-half years.
But Flintshire Council confirmed yesterday that Cllr Heesom has returned to office after submitting an appeal.
A spokesman for Flintshire said: “The council have recently received a copy of a High Court Order that in effect suspends Patrick Heesom’s disqualification as a councillor. This order will remain in force until further order of the court.”
Cllr Heesom was reported to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in March 2009 amid allegations he bullied a former council officer.
The leader of the New Independents party was found guilty of 14 breaches of Flintshire Council’s members’ code of conduct relating to incidents that took place over a period of two years from February 2007 to February 2009.
Michael Duncan, a spokesman for the Judiciary of England and Wales, said in the first instance a single judge would look at the appeal papers that have been lodged and make a decision whether to allow an appeal to go ahead.
But he said if permission was given, it was difficult to say how long the process might take. “It is currently vacation in the High Court so anything other than urgent cases are not likely to be dealt with before October,” he said.
Alison Halford, county councillor for Ewloe, said she was “absolutely delighted” at the reinstatement.
“Patrick has been sorely missed,” she said.
“I am delighted I shall be continuing working with Patrick for the good of the people we represent.”
Mostyn Community Council chairman Brynmor Hughes also welcomed the news.
He said the community council clerk had received an email from Flintshire Council confirming the news. “I’m just absolutely delighted,” said Cllr Hughes.