Yet another sorry tale of Labour abusing their privileges I am sorry to relate. This time in the Eric Manns Building aka ‘the Councillors Club’! This expose′ comes courtesy of the Rotherham Tories, who have been investigating this abuse.
This tale of petty abuse casually done, followed it would appear, by another Officer led ‘cover up’. This time it goes right to the top, the lead Officer involved, none other than the Chief Executive, Martin Kimber!
Someone thought it was acceptable to install an expensive printer, owned by the Labour Party, in the Eric Manns Building and then to use it for printing Labour Party electoral propaganda! Who thought it was an acceptable use of public resources? – we should be told!
In Rotherham both the Councillors and Officers have an extraordinarily loose relationship when it comes to their observance of their ‘Codes of Conduct’. Martin Kimber’s role here leaves him open to the accusation of naivety if not complicity! This kind of thing should never happen, it must not do so again.
I reproduce the Tory Press Release:
Press release on Labour theft of electricity
Rotherham Labour Councillors caught fiddling the ‘lecky!
Sent by: Cllr Tony Mannion
Phone No 07766441754
Conservative Gp Leader Cllr John Gilding.
Phone No 07795368650
The Conservative Opposition Councillors have caught Labour with their hands in the public purse yet again. This time with a systematically planned operation to print Party Political leaflets using stolen electricity.
They purchased a printer said to have cost £3000 and installed it in a public building, the Eric Manns building, so it’s not just the theft of electricity but the misuse of a public building as well.
The Chief Executive, Mr Martin Kimber, investigated the matter and his initial decision was to charge them a nominal sum for one day’s use of the printer, as that was all the use of the printer that Labour admitted to. We subsequently informed Mr Kimber. that the printer was first seen being used over at the very least a two month period, they have been seen using the printer on several occasions by the Conservative opposition, and that stacks of paper and ink cartridges have been seen in the Eric Manns building for Labour’s use. He stands by his initial decision!
Cllr Tony Mannion. said “we always felt that for Labour to spend £3000 on a machine, go to the trouble of installing it in a public building, with all the inherent risk involved, and then to use it on one occasion was just too ridiculous for words!” he added “ this was not a portable machine, not even a table top model, this was a large free standing machine as large as the professional photocopiers that the public can use for a fee in their local shops and Library’s. This would take at least two men to install, who installed it, who signed for it, and who subsequently removed it, all in plain view of the Council Staff?”
We know from our experience of fighting elections that when you use a smaller machine than the ones used by professional Printers that to get the numbers needed to cover an electoral ward they soon turnout to be more expensive than getting the job done by a professional printer, even with the electricity being paid for by the taxpayer: so the question has to be asked if they were prepared to steal electricity how can we be sure they did not use any council paper or ink cartridges?
Leader of the opposition Cllr John Gilding stated “The installation of this machine was no small affair and from my many years of experience in Politics I know the purchase of such an expensive item has to be approved at the highest levels. Where did the people who approved this purchase think it was going?”
Labour have closed ranks and refused to confirm when the machine was installed, who installed it and who subsequently removed it.
Cllr Cutts said “Its not just the theft of the electricity and who knows possibly paper and ink, it’s the use of a public building as their office. The Labour party, to best of my knowledge do not have an office in Rotherham so to bypass the cost of an office with all its overheads is no mean saving, and we ought to know as we do have an office fully paid for by our members, and we pay our own electricity bills as well!”
An added twist to the tale is that the printer was in the Chair of Planning’s office when it was first spotted but was then placed in the Majority room without actually being moved, they simply changed the name on the door.
Cllr Cutts added “whether or not this was to protect the Chairman of planning or to disguise what they doing we do not know. I do know, even if we hadn’t seen them doing their printing on several occasions, that to ask us to accept that they used it only once is quite unbelievable! We are not satisfied that we have got to the bottom of this scandal yet and we will keep pressing and digging until we do!”
Quite a little tale, this raises as many questions as it answers. More on this as information comes in. If you have any further insights in to this story, please let us know.