Cllr Nigel Ayre, is a Lib Dem councillor on York and as Executive Member for Leisure has responsibility for libraries. He recently ran up a fine of £22.80 – but has had it waived by the Council's head of libraries and heritage.

The Press, a local paper in York, reports:

Coun Nigel Ayre, executive member for leisure, was excused paying the fine after experiencing “extremely poor customer service”, said Fiona Williams, City of York Council’s head of libraries and heritage.

Coun Ayre said he did not know the fine was being waived and never spoke to staff about it, and Ms Williams insisted he had not been given special treatment.

But an opponent of the Liberal Democrat councillor said he had shown a “remarkable lack of judgement” and the matter now looks set to be investigated by the council’s standards committee.

Coun Ayre, Liberal Democrat councillor for Heworth Without, said he had cause to report several library issues to officials in the space of three days, about availability of stock, online facilities, library search facilities and staff communication.

But how did Ms Williams know that Cllr Ayre had been fined? It sounds as though Cllr Ayre told her – even if it was in a written report rather than them having spoken. Maybe the fine was unreasonable due to some circumstance or another. But what about the smell test? If a resident in my ward felt they were unreasonably fined I would be happy to take up their case. But if I was fined I would pay up.