A DECISION on whether a Tredegar councillor breached the council's code of conduct last year could be made later this week.

Blaenau Gwent council's standards committee will determine if there is evidence Councillor Brian Thomas failed to comply with the members' code - which requires councillors to behave in a responsible and civil manner to local authority employees - when he criticised Tredegar housing manager Bridget Touhig at a council meeting.

The authority's monitoring officer says in a report to the standards committee that, in his opinion, Councillor Thomas's conduct fell below the standards expected of a councillor.

Members of the committee will discuss the issue on Friday. If he is found to have breached the code, the Sirhowy ward councillor could face censure or being suspended for up to six months.

Councillor Thomas, leader of the Liberal Democrats and a councillor for more than 30 years, said at a council meeting on October 28 last year that Tredegar had the worst housing manager in the borough.

The comments were ruled 'out of order' by then deputy mayor Lyndon Moore and council leader John Hopkins asked for an urgent investigation. John Parsons, director of community services, later lodged a formal complaint to the local government ombudsman, alleging Councillor Thomas breached the members' code by making 'inappropriate, unsubstantiated allegations against a member of staff'.

The ombudsman referred the case back to the council's monitoring officer to investigate.

During the investigation, Councillor Thomas made a statement saying he had apologised to the director of community services for making the statement in a public place, but not for the statement itself.

He also said he apologised for the outburst at a council meeting in December, and acknowledged it had not been the 'right time or place' for the remarks.

He told the Argus yesterday he believed he had breached the code of conduct.

"I signed a statement to be discreet and I wasn't," he said.