Westbury Town Forums

The Westbury Boards => Westbury News & Discussion => Topic started by: baldy on November 15, 2018, 20:39:22 PM

Title: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on November 15, 2018, 20:39:22 PM
Here we go again.......

I am irritated that the standards system at Wiltshire Council has decided to investigate me for alleged breaches of the town council code of conduct even though I've actually left the town council.

There is no useful purpose as obviously nothing can be done about anything in the past.

For the record, I stand by everything I've said and done. Indeed, there is no argument about what I said as everything that my accusers say was a breach is contained either in emails or Facebook posts.

This is all about me attempting to put pressure on people involved in politics to discuss the issues in public. One accuser thinks I am out of order to mention where she lives because i was making the point that I don't care what she thinks about me or what I say as a local councillor as she is not a local elector and certainly not one who could vote against me anyway and another accuser simply did not want an argument between me and her about the lack of a post office and how she could help the town council to set one up etc put into the public domain. I'm actually accused of bullying.

This is simply an occupational hazard of being a busy councillor who is prepared to engage in argument with people about local political issues.

I have been accused of bullying virtually every year for the last 16 years and been through many investigations and none of the allegations have been held up - indeed, they've always been dismissed as unfounded. On one occasion only, I was found in breach but that amounted to "disrespect" while allegations of bullying were dismissed in a situation where I entirely agreed with all the detail of what I was alleged to have said but don't agree that it was any breach as all I did was criticize someone who was able to defend themselves and did so ...

The reason the people involved are pushing for investigations to proceed after I have resigned as a town councillor is because they want to smear me because I am still a Wiltshire Councillor and want to claim that I resigned as a town councillor to avoid the investigations. Nothing could be further from the truth. I decided to resign before the events in question took place and then delayed resigning to engage in the usual preliminary process when I expected the accusations to be dismissed. One of the reasons I resigned was because of all the nonsense going on within the town council to prevent it setting up a PO in Westbury, when clearly no-one else is bothering to provide a proper town centre PO.

Unfortunately, the whole councillor standards process has now got itself thoroughly caught up in PC nonsense which ignores Freedom of Expression rights that councillors have to say what they think... and politically-motivated councillors who want to use the system to attack others based on an incorrect application of the law.  The system now is fundamentally based around a Kangaroo Court made up of councillors with no proper independent investigators or appeal process.

The complainants don't realise yet that I am entitled to totally dismiss any findings and publicly explain my view of what happened. Both complainants fundamentally object to and are complaining about me trying to make public the things I said.

Well .... they have a shock coming. It is going to all end up in the public domain. I will get my say about them anyway - not least here and elsewhere online and there is absolutely nothing any of them can do to stop me.

There is no contempt of court principle when the so-called tribunal is nothing more than a council committee.  It is just a Kangaroo Court which makes no real attempt to be fair.
Accused councillors only get a few minutes to put their case yet corrupt investigators get as long as they want to speak. It does not follow normal rules of natural justice, not least because there is no appeal system to an independent properly-recognised judicial body ... except via judicial review on a point of law to the High Court.

I now look forward to it.
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on November 17, 2018, 11:13:17 AM
 :)


I'm going to see how often I can use the word "diddums" in this whole matter ....


 ;D ;D ;D


Just for clarity, none of this affects me as a Wiltshire Councillor because it is a separate council and role from the town council and the allegations relate only to my former role as a town councillor. No sanctions can be applied to me as a Wiltshire Councillor and none to me as an ex-town councillor.

This is simply a smear campaign against me supported by unelected people - a co-opted councillor and a woman who lives in North Bradley - and Kangaroo Court Clowns.

I am writing here as a local resident and ex-town councillor .
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on November 17, 2018, 13:13:24 PM
Diddums
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: Bob DeBilda on November 19, 2018, 12:41:55 PM


This is simply a smear campaign against me supported by unelected people - a co-opted councillor and a woman who lives in North Bradley - and Kangaroo Court Clowns.



diddums
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on January 17, 2019, 10:00:59 AM
I've decided to also say: "Silly Snowflakes" though both of the women are definitely not silly or snowflakes, except in the way they've made a complaint about something so ridiculous.

In reality, both complaints were riddled with a range of claims which have already been identified by lawyers as not relevant, but the system has decided to proceed with a full investigation of both complaints now ....    I'm waiting to hear about who will be the investigator. I suppose they might find a proper independent lawyer from outside WC ......... and I've dealt with many of these in the past and have found them to be the most reasonable overall (not least because either they get everything wrong or everything right) ...

Interestingly, a better example of PC nonsense has now occurred which eclipses my 2 cases for sheer nonsense ....  It involves the recent Conservative leader of Salisbury City Council who is also a Wiltshire Councillor who said something about folk not wanting to live near gypsies ...........      I understand that he's had to leave the Conservatives and is now Independent at WC.

My legal advisers are now also advising him.
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on February 20, 2019, 07:00:34 AM
Blimey.

WC has appointed a top firm of independent investigators to handle my cases.  The cost will run into thousands of £s of public money, especially as they are based up North and must attend any committee, ahem - Kangaroo Court - meetings ...

This is going to be properly interesting ....
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: Al on February 20, 2019, 10:05:26 AM
WC has appointed a top firm of independent investigation lawyers to handle my cases.  The cost will run into thousands of £s of public money, especially as they are based up North and must attend any committee, ahem - Kangaroo Court - meetings ...

This is going to be properly interesting ....
Council's need to take these things seriously now. Two words. Alex Salmond... ;D
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on February 20, 2019, 10:09:07 AM
Good point.

Scottish Law is a bit different from English law though.

I am well aware that there is a right to appeal any incorrect procedure used by a public body in England to make a decision if it is seriously illogical, unfair etc. or to appeal a decision if it is simply irrational and not based on any proper law, relevant facts etc ...

My legal advisers follow the evolving English Law very closely and there are several recent cases that deal with Freedom of Expression for councillors where adversely affected councillors went to judicial review and had decisions overturned.
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on June 16, 2019, 12:47:48 PM
Well, well, well ....


the draft report has been issued for the first set of allegations which was made by a current co-opted town councillor .........


I can't say a word in public yet, but the following emoticons pretty well say it all ....




 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


 [app] [app] [app] [app] [app] [app] [app] [app] [app] [app] [app] [app] [app] [app]


 [beer]


 :-*
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on July 18, 2019, 11:54:07 AM
I've had to delete my recent posts about the second complaint due to legal advice I've now been given.

What I would say is that the current state of play is that the draft report for the first complaint (made by a current co-opted town councillor) clears me on all points though criticises me for going right up to the limits of freedom of expression (in effect) and the draft report for the second complaint (made by a person living in North Bradley who was livid that I mentioned the village where she lives) almost does the same but actually finds a breach based on the idea that my last few emails to her and posts on Facebook in response to her posts made a few days earlier were after the complaint was started and therefore should not have been made at all.

I believe that the basis of the "breach" found by the investigator in the second complaint is actually incorrect for a range of reasons not least because I only replied to the complainant because she contacted me directly anyway and the last Facebook posts were part of a continuing argument involving many people and all of it is still up and live etc etc ... and my last post was simply the completion of my comments about her comments whether she liked the timing of it or not   etc etc...

There's a lot more to all of this than I am saying here. As far as I am concerned, any attempt to put any aspect of the complaints into the public domain with a claim that I have done anything wrong will be responded to by me with a complete explanation of the nonsense that the relevant complainant was getting up to. The second complainant is a professional working in Westbury using her maiden name for both her own business and for the complaint and she was supporting the idea of some criminal activities in Westbury using her married name as her ID on Facebook.

Ho hum ... it continues ...... but really overall it's all looking a lot better than I thought before the independent investigator was brought in.
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on August 22, 2019, 10:07:50 AM
At last, I feel quite relaxed about the two outrageous sets of vile and untrue allegations made against me which assert that they amount to breaches of the town council code of conduct.

My legal adviser has produced a brilliant and expert demolition job of all the nonsense that has occurred so far in the second case (there was no need to bother with the first one ... so far ...) with clear and accurate references to the correct law and what the code of conduct does and does not mean which exposes the stuff that is just improperly made up by the standards system at Wiltshire Council ... and which misleads almost anyone who tries to read it.

There is no way that any rational person who understands the law and what actually happened would think that a breach of the code of conduct occurred.

The second complainant has made up a vile list of issues about me and insisted on an apology. I will certainly be seeking one from her and she will not be able to claim harassment (as me responding to her nonsense is not harassment) ...

I am inclined to think the first complainant was simply badly advised by arrogant deluded fools, who are still at the town council and who think they know the relevant local government law better than me (or those who advise me and who have a long track record of proving they know the relevant law better than the official lawyers involved).

I'm waiting for the investigator to get over the shock of seeing what is in the legal comments that have been submitted to him .....
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on September 09, 2019, 10:33:57 AM
I've asked the investigator to rewrite both of his draft reports (before issuing his final reports) to properly reflect the real law about the correct meaning of freedom of expression when the code of conduct does not (repeat NOT) include a specific requirement for respect. Indeed, this requirement for respect was specifically removed when the previous standards regime, which did include respect, was entirely revoked by parliament in 2012.

This means all my relevant emails and, in the second case, posts to Facebook, fell well short of any relevant threshold that might cause a breach of the town council code of conduct.

According to the legal advice I have been given, and which has been forwarded to the investigator in full, when a political argument is started and there is no counter requirement for respect, once the higher protection for political argument is engaged, it is not disengaged just because part of the debate then enters into personal criticism or abuse. Indeed, even strong personal abuse is protected or anything strongly offensive is protected (unless actually illegal).

The investigator was trying to pretend that the law as it stood under the now-repealed statutory code of conduct is still current.  I think this is because he is basically being told how to interpret the law  -  incorrectly -   by the monitoring officer (the legal director at WC), which actually means the investigator is not actually properly independent ....

We'll see if he corrects the nonsense in his reports ....

In the first case, this would mean removing the rubbish about me veering close to the limits of freedom expression and him coming to a balanced decision .... as all my actions fell well short of any code problem ...

In the second case, he'll have to rewrite large sections of his report ...


BTW, I previously mentioned the two cases involving the former Salisbury City Council leader and this same independent investigator. Both of his investigations have now ended with him being found by the same investigator to have not breached the code of conduct at all, so I think there is hope that this investigator can get to the correct result in the end ...
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on September 12, 2019, 16:43:16 PM
The final report for the first case has been issued.

The decision by the Monitoring Officer at WC is "no further action".

The report makes it clear that in the opinion of the investigator there was no breach of the town council code of conduct by me and that this is a finely-balanced view ... which I regard as nonsense for reasons explained in my previous post.

The complainant can request a review which would take more time to look at the issues again.

Given the determined and vicious nature of the complaint, with all sorts of muddled claims thrown into the mix, including the idea that I should have been suspended as a Wiltshire Councillor pending the result of this investigation (which no-one has the power to carry out), I imagine that the complainant will try to keep this all going ....

If this all goes to a review hearing, my legal adviser will really enjoy telling the investigator and relevant lawyers involved what the correct law is.
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: DORIAN on September 12, 2019, 17:03:17 PM
Russell
in view of no response to your issues maybe you let it it it rest. This a forum for genuine issues not for personaL VENDETTA.
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on September 27, 2019, 10:20:54 AM

Russell
in view of no response to your issues maybe you let it it it rest. This a forum for genuine issues not for personaL VENDETTA.


Dorian, you are so muddled, mixed up and plain wrong in what you've said.

Actually, dozens if not hundreds of readers (mostly as "Guests" or non-members) read this thread. Some of them are journalists and local councillors. I know this as a fact.

Just because there is no reply at times, this does not mean that the matter or subject is not a local issue worth discussing or just writing about. You seem to have forgotten that it is fundamentally about false allegations claiming a breach of the code of conduct for councillors made about a current elected councillor, albeit relating to a role held on another council from which I resigned over a year ago.

I'll just ignore your nonsense.
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: Damnit on September 27, 2019, 11:06:23 AM
 [app]
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: DORIAN on September 27, 2019, 17:12:04 PM
i have only just read your insulting remarks to dirty washing calling it nonsense and other  ignorant remarks, rather like your disdain of the the remain who you call vulgarity contemptible, i know not word for word, but in precise  form you know exactly what was meant.
you would never make a politician as your crude rhetoric to all those who do  not agree with you, will be demonised.
As for your so called disciplinary action against you,, so what, if innocent you will be found out to be so, as for your other comments about remoaners and the awful language used, against them, maybe listen with your two ears before opening your verbal venom
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: Bob DeBilda on September 27, 2019, 19:04:27 PM



 You seem to have forgotten that it is fundamentally about false allegations claiming a breach of the code of conduct for councillors made about a current elected councillor, albeit relating to a role held on another council from which I resigned over a year ago.



Correct me if i'm wrong but until proven false, allegations are just allegations. Because you say they are false it doesn't mean they are?

Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on September 27, 2019, 19:51:03 PM

 You seem to have forgotten that it is fundamentally about false allegations claiming a breach of the code of conduct for councillors made about a current elected councillor, albeit relating to a role held on another council from which I resigned over a year ago.


Correct me if i'm wrong but until proven false, allegations are just allegations. Because you say they are false it doesn't mean they are?


Correct. You could have said until proven allegations are just allegations. The trouble with the current council code of conduct system is that there is no proper easy -access and free judicial appeal court (like there was between 2002-2012) to make the hearing committees (I call them Kangaroo Courts) behave fairly and follow correct law not least because most councillors cannot afford to take councils to the High Court for a Judicial Review on a point of Law.

When I say that something is false I am simply saying it as it is. If it had been proven false or dismissed by a proper legal hearing, I would say "proven" etc.   But there is no proper hearing system at all now. It's just a council standards sub-committee meeting of 3 councillors who were put on the committee by their political masters / group leaders to basically nail other councillors especially their opponents ...

When an investigator says that an allegation was not a breach, that is his opinion. If the monitoring officer dismisses the matter by deciding "no further action" and assuming a Kangaroo Court of Councillors does not try to overturn the monitoring officer's advice (if the complainant request a review), then that is effectively the same as "case thrown out" or "no case worth answering".
Title: Re: Ex-town Cllr investigated for trivial alleged breach of the code of conduct
Post by: baldy on September 29, 2019, 03:19:36 AM







you would never make a politician ...






UPDATED AGAIN - 29/9/19


Erm ...  I have been an elected politician for 17.5 years and have held office on all three levels of local government that existed during that time and, I have an entirely clean record at both the district council (2003-2009) and Wiltshire Council (2009- intend to stand down in 2021) despite dozens of allegations about me and more than 500 pages of so-called written evidence by mad, muddled smear campaigners who are worse than you.

If you meant that I would never be an MP, I agree but that's because I have no plans to climb the greasy pole in a party and then campaign to be one. My record is certainly clean enough to qualify.

Just to spell this out for you, I have never been found in breach of the code at either West Wiltshire District Council (which closed when the County Council absorbed its functions and became a unitary council called Wiltshire Council) or at Wiltshire Council despite many attempts by spiteful smear campaigners to throw all sorts of nonsense at me.

At the town council, I was found in breach once for not being respectful to a former councillor by saying publicly a perfectly truthful description of how he ruined the project to refurbish The Laverton when he was appointed to lead the processs of finding and obtaining grant money and then failed to obtain any money at all and then he actually blamed the project. I have signed statements by THREE (at the time recent) former mayors which confirm that they attended the relevant meetings and saw what happened and which confirm the truth of the matter. I have another signed statement from an expert in grant funding who led the later advice for and a string of wholly successful grant applications for the re-started project (several years later) which confirms that my original advice was correct (ie. focus on heritage) and that the person who had failed to obtain grants had gone about it all in an incorrect way not least because the project I recommended would have qualified for substantial Heritage Lottery funding if it had been applied for in the way I had explained in the adopted 2006 business plan that I wrote. That business plan included a reference to a letter from the Heritage Lottery folk sent to the council in response to a preliminary application made by me confirming the criteria to be followed by the project and welcoming a full application.

What Ian Taylor did instead was to dismiss the business plan and say that the Heritage Lottery Fund was the wrong way to go and he proceeded to take a year to apply to the Big Lottery Fund as if the project was a new venue or public facility rather than improvements to an existing community project with many heritage merits. The Big Lottery refused his application and pointed out that the application was wrongly filled in in several ways and anyway it could not qualify for any Big Lottery grant which should be aimed at new facilities rather than old existing ones or maintenance to existing facilities. Instead of apologising for his horrendously bad advice and wasted time (and for trashing my business plan), he proceeded to blame the project and say that he had applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund and it had been refused, which was a blatant lie. All he did to try to cover his tracks was to hurriedly send in a second preliminary application by fax (I had already properly done one, as mentioned in the 2006 adopted business plan) which described the project in a way that did not focus enough or properly on the heritage merits and also mentioned the need for maintenance expenses (which did not qualify). He also bizarrely sent a copy of the 2006 business plan which was never intended to be a document to be used for any specific grant application as it included all sorts of points that would not qualify for grants, so obviously the faxed reply to him from the Heritage Lottery Fund was a clear rejection. What a bone head! In effect, Ian Taylor lied repeatedly and stitched the result up and was wholly negligent in failing to apply for the correct grant with a full application and in a correct or reasonably professional way and then again said that the Heritage Lottery Fund was not the correct grant to apply for for reasons based on his own errors and fraudulent manipulations. In separate correspondence between me and various people involved in the project, I made it clear that Ian Taylor was a fraud when he put himself forward as suitable for handling substantial grant applications for a fairly complex major community project which required proper expertise not a pretentious know-all who actually knew nothing of any use about refurbishing heritage buildings and how to correctly apply for heritage-related grants. He had been recommended at the time in 2006 by the then Mayor, Pam Cox-Maidment who promptly did a disappearing act from the council at the May 2007 elections. I have never forgiven her for getting Ian Taylor involved in the project and allowing him to trash all the hard work done by me and others. It took years to overcome the damage he caused and to restart the project with a substantially new team under a new and competent chairman, Stephen Andrews, and with a highly competent project adviser whom I had recommended to the working group.

The reality of the matter is that by the time the investigation resulted in a report which dismissed allegations of bullying but found a breach for disrespect, the whole statutory standards system had been dissolved in Summer 2012 by the Localism Act. The Act closed down the judicial appeal system which meant that I was investigated under an old system and then attended a hearing under a new system which had no proper appeal available so that the hearing was just a Kangaroo Court of clowns who failed to understand the details or who just wanted to put a minor mark on my record whilst dismissing all really serious allegations made.

The stark truth is that I was entitled to say all that I said and there are plenty of case decisions that show that other councillors would have been cleared in the same circumstances mainly because a proper appeal system to a proper court was available before 2012. Now, it's just a Kangaroo Court of councillors who mostly want to get a black mark on their political opponents.

I have officially put my two fingers up to the standards system as corrupt and I have made it clear that the ex-councillor who made the allegation against me was lying, not least because I have hard written proof that what he claimed in his allegations was untrue and what I said about him ruining the project (he even got the Laverton Hall closed to the public and the refurb project suspended) was perfectly true. What I said was not disrespectful. It was plainly true and relevant.

I shall never forget the front page article in the Western Daily Press once in 2006 which had a photo of me and falsely said that I had been given a police caution. This was a totally untrue story given by Bill Braid as part of his very long smear campaign against me involving three separate bundles of allegations. In reality, I was cleared of every single allegation he made and I was never given a police caution (which means that a crime has been admitted in writing after being arrested and charged and is on the police record as a shortcut to avoid court for a first offender or similar). Indeed, I have never been arrested and have a completely clean police record.

So, you might understand that when some people make yet more allegations that lead to an investigation, I tend to publish what is happening .... especially as most complainants tend to spin endlessly to the folks that they know with false versions of the truth.
 


N.B. I am commenting here in my capacity as a local resident and a former town councillor (I resigned over a year ago) who was there at the relevant times and knows what happened.
Any reference here to my other councillor roles (whether current or past) is simply a point of information rather than the role I am undertaking here.
This subject in this post is simply about a town council project and former town councillors and is in response to other posts about the overall discussion about complaints that relate only to the town council.

I.E. The town council code of conduct does not apply to me now, as I left that council over a year ago. No other code of conduct applies as I am not acting in any other relevant role here.