Saturday, 30 June 2012

Inquiry into corruption at Allerdale council claim

An independent investigation into alleged corruption within Allerdale council has been launched following a complaint by a local businessman.

The claims are now being investigated by Cumbria County Council’s legal department and will involve interviews with several Allerdale council employees, with the results expected next month.

In March, Councillor Mark Fryer, portfolio holder for economic growth, called for a full and independent investigation into claims which, “if substantiated”, would be “very serious indeed”.

They included “totally inappropriate behaviour towards a local employer by one or more council officers which may amount to abuse of office for personal gain”.

My comment: Abuse of office for personal gain is not something another council should be investigating for them. The Police should investigate because it is, potentially, a criminal offence.

Read the full story from the source News & Star

Ex-councillor jailed for child porn offences

SHAMED former Wycombe district councillor Bob Bate has been jailed today for three years after confessing to possessing thousands of pornographic images of children and animals.

His Honour Judge Simon Davis, sitting at Amersham Law Courts, today described the images as “graphic, sordid and damaging”.

He told Bate, 62: “These are the worst images I have ever seen. I am sorry, I have never said that before. Both at the bar and the bench I have had the misfortune to be involved in this work.

The former Hazlemere Parish Council chairman, a Tory, who was living in Dudley after his arrest, admitted to 17 counts of making indecent photos of children last month.

My comment: At least he got jail time but it goes to show many councillors are not the upright citizens many people believe them to be.

Read the full story from the source Bucks Free Press

Grange-Over-Sands councillor censured for bullying

A GRANGE-OVER-SANDS councillor has been formally censured for bullying the town’s ex-deputy clerk and disrespecting its mayor.

Coun Frank McCall was found in breach of the council’s Code of Conduct by South Lakeland District Council’s standards hearing sub-committee.

It is the first time since February 2010 that SLDC has had to hold such a hearing.

My comment: The problem is once they gain office there isn't a lot that can be done to get rid of them when they do something like this. All they usually get is a minor slap on the hand.

Read the full story from the source The Westmorland Gazette

Friday, 22 June 2012

Wirral Council: How many more scandals must we have before council officers are sacked?

AN MP says he is "amazed" by claims that senior Wirral Council officers hid key information over the precarious financial state of a firm handed a major contract to repair West Kirby's marine lake.

Birkenhead's Frank Field has openly challenged Wirral Council's senior civil servants, asking: "How many more scandals must we have before officers are sacked?"

My comment: A large number of senior officers should have been sacked but appear to have got away with it. The question is why? Do they have something on the councillors?

Things are so bad there is even a petition to get the Government to take over the running of Wirral Borough Council

Read the full story from the source Wirral Globe

For more background info on the whole sorry saga browse some of my earlier posts about Wirral Council.


Police disciplined after corruption probe were let off with a 'slap on the wrist'

DEVON and Cornwall Police officers disciplined in the wake of a corruption investigation into the leaking of confidential information to private detectives were let off with a "slap on the wrist", according to an MP.

Eleven police officers, five support staff, prison guards and benefits agency employees were among the suspects identified in a two-year police inquiry into illegal data checks.

Operation Reproof uncovered an alleged web of leaked information, from Devon and Cornwall officers, among others, to a network of private investigators.

It would lead to two further national investigations into the activities of private investigators selling information to members of the Press – a relationship being examined at the Leveson inquiry after the phone hacking scandal.

Devon and Cornwall's operation resulted in six men – two serving police officers, two former officers and two private investigators – being charged in 2004 although the case collapsed in the courts in 2006.

It can now be revealed that five police officers later faced internal disciplinary proceedings – with a written warning being the stiffest punishment meted out.

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, who was instrumental in getting details of Operation Reproof heard at the Leveson inquiry, said: "It does seem odd that at the end of one of the most expensive and lengthy investigations carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police, in which they found evidence that was apparently strong enough to take to trial, that more severe action was not taken against the police officers involved. It appears to me to be little more than a slap on the wrist. I am seeking a meeting with the chief constable for his views and whether or not he is satisfied with the way the aftermath of the inquiry was handled."

My comment: That's what you get when a body is allowed to investigate it's own staff, whether that be the Police, a council or the government. 

Read the full story from the source This is Plymouth

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Leicestershire County Council leader David Parsons strongly censured over travel expenses

Coun Parsons was strongly censured on Tuesday for breaching the councillors' code of conduct over his travel expenses.

Coun Parsons appeared before the council's standards committee on Tuesday to face allegations he held on to money paid to him for trips to Europe, which he should have promptly paid back to the authority.

He offered an "unreserved apology" after Martin Caple, chairman of the county council's standards committee, said Coun Parsons had disregarded four key principles of public life – honesty, integrity, accountability and leadership.

One Tory councillor said: "There is a sense of despair among many of us who feel that anybody else other than Parsons would have stepped aside over this. "I do not think the group will have the courage to remove him, though."

Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is difficult for a politician dogged by questions over how they have handled their expenses to maintain the trust of residents and lead a local authority.

My comment: I agree, no matter how good a leader he is if he can't handle his own expenses properly there is something seriously wrong. With  the LGA suggest he is one of the top 50 influential leaders in Local Government it's no wonder so many councillors try and fiddle their expenses.

Read the full story from the source This is Leicestershire

Read all articles about Leicester County Council on this blog

Friday, 15 June 2012

Holywell Town councillor jailed for claiming dead wife's benefits

Shamed town councillor Michael Mills has been jailed for nine weeks today after a court heard how he continued to claim his wife’s benefits after she died.

The retired miner carried on as normal and went to the Post Office every week to collect both his benefits and those of his dead wife. He used her pension card 110 times.

Mills got away with £21,357 but was caught thanks to an anonymous tip-off to DWP officials.

He admitted fraud charges and Flintshire magistrates, sitting at Mold, said they were extremely serious offences. He had defrauded the public purse out of a considerable amount of money when on his own admission he knew it was wrong.

Mills, 64, at the time a member of Holywell town council, had been in a 'zombie-type state' after making the traumatic decision to turn his wife’s life-support machine off. He could not come to terms with her death after a 44-year marriage, the court was told.

My comment: Funny how some MPs and councillors get away with defrauding the taxpayer but other go to jail.

Read the full story from the source Wales on Line

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Suspended sentence for police officer who made up statement

A police officer who fabricated a witness statement to cover up his own inadequacies has been given a one year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC told Gary Rodgers he was "not fit to serve as a police officer".

My comment: I think the judge sums it up quite well "not fit to serve as a police officer"

Read the full story from the source BBC

Read all articles about the Police on this blog.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Thanet councillor Mike Harrison suspended

Councillor Mike Harrison has been suspended from the Thanet Labour group for one month.

Councillor Clive Heart, leader of the Labour group on the council, said: "Following a thorough internal investigation of recent events leading to him receiving a letter of advice from the police, councillor Mike Harrison has been suspended from Thanet Labour group for one calendar month."

My comment: Looks like the leader of the Labour group doesn't believe he was fraped.

Read the full story from the source BBC

Background:  Councillor disciplined for dubbing rival a 'shirt-lifter'

Mike Harrison, a Labour member who represents the Newington ward on Thanet district council, criticised Independent councillor Ian Driver during a conversation on the social network.
Coun Harrison was warned by police that he could face arrest if he makes more comments against Coun Driver.

Horsham District councillor to be retrained after parking permit blunder

A Horsham District councillor found abusing his free parking permit has been sent for training after an inquiry by the council Standards Committee.

As reported exclusively in The County Times on March 15 2012, following an investigation by this newspaper, Andrew Dunlop (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead) was found parking in the BT Exchange car park, North Street, Horsham, whilst on private business.

“The key principle underlying the terms and conditions upon which a member parking pass is issued is that public office and public resources should not be used to further purely private purposes.”

My comment: Sent for training? A member of the public would have been fined or accused of fraud for doing something similar. Why are elected representatives so keen to let off their fellow elected representatives? They should all be ashamed of themselves!

The three members of the sub committee decided that although there might be breaches of the Code of Members’ Conduct, they directed Mr Dunlop’s case not to be referred for a local investigation.

Might be breaches of the Code of Members' Conduct? Morons.

Read the full story from the source West Sussex County Times