One omission from an excellent post by Bob Piper:
The Standards Board are the tip of the iceberg here. They are the APEX organisation for an army of local officials who are financed - out of public money - to supress the debate of local issues. Rather than restate this, I'll link to an earlier post a previous post rather than repetition here).
Permanent officialdom now has more power than ever before to silence elected officials and professionals. This (for the avoidance of doubt) is a bad thing.
And they aren't just spending public money in surpressing Councillors either (again, a link to a previous post rather than repetition here).