Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Devon councillor suspended after planning consultancy sting

UPDATED 13th March 2013: Councillor Graham Brown investigated for bribery. Update below original story.

A councillor filmed offering his services as a consultant to help developers get planning approval has been suspended by his party group.

East Devon District Council’s Conservative group said it had both suspended Graham Brown from the group and removed him from his post as Member Champion for Business and Tourism on the Tory-run council.

The Conservative member, who is not a member of the council’s planning committee, told a reporter posing as developer that he could help with getting planning approval for applications in the area and has "access to all the right people".

He told the reporter: "If I can’t get planning, nobody will."

Paul Diviani, the Tory council leader, said: "I and other members feel that councillor Brown has brought himself, the party and council in to disrepute with his comments, and even though his interest as a planning consultant has been declared, this does not excuse the remarks he made."

Read the full story from the source Planning Resource or more about the Telegraph sting here and here

UPDATE 13th March 2013: Councillor Graham Brown investigated for bribery

A councillor who was filmed claiming he could influence the planning process has resigned.

East Devon district councillor and planning consultant Graham Brown told an undercover reporter: "If I can't get planning, nobody will."

The Conservative-led council confirmed it had referred Mr Brown's comments to the police under the Bribery Act 2010 and its own policy on fraud, theft and anti-corruption.

It said: "Although Graham Brown has not been a member of our planning committee, his comments still raised serious issues and we have responded to them quickly, firmly and fairly".

Read the full story from the source BBC News

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