Elliot Morley Sentenced – 16 Months!

Elliot Morley made history today when appearing for sentencing as the first former Minister to be sent to jail. His sentence? The surprisingly lenient term of 16 months!

Morley, former environment minister 2003-06, pleaded guilty last month to claiming more than £30,000 in bogus mortgage payments.

He fraudulently completed a total of 40 separate forms relating to payments for his home.

He claimed £16,800 on a phantom mortgage and £15,200 after inflating the amount he was previously paying, he should have been entitled to only £1,572.

Previously published: Click Here.

Blue badge abusing councillor should fess up and resign his seat! NOW!

When the scandal of ‘blue badge abuse’ by a councillor first emerged, it seemed no more than a symptom of casual labour arrogance. As this sorry tale was investigated it revealed much of the control structure, routinely used to keep information, the public has a right to know, from them. The gravity of this issue is of the utmost seriousness as it appears to involve multiple breaches of both Officers and Councillors Codes of Conduct. It has also become apparent that this type of cover up is evidence of a deeper cultural malaise within RMBC that cannot go unchallenged!

One of the other main problems in establishing the identity of the abuser was that this form of abuse has been widespread in the past, and information can be difficult to verify. One particularly egregious example that turned up, was the councillor who blatantly used his wife’s blue badge whilst he visited the Town Hall, even though she was occupying a bed in Rotherham District General Hospital at the time! Although interesting, it proved to be a diversion in this case.

Tales From the Town Hall, revealed that a great deal of effort had gone in to protecting the identity of the abuser, with vague threats of some form of legal action involving the Freedom of Information Act! So much effort, so much officers time has been expended on this futile cover up! Attempting to use the FOI as the means for enforcing a cover up is quite extraordinary and possibly a novel approach.

From a previous post: “The councillor involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, not only for  abusing the Blue Badge in the first place, but for hiding the truth from us by obliging officers to mount a cover up!

The sheer effrontery of this loathsome individual deserves nothing but contempt from the people of this long suffering Town. His actions are positively outrageous from someone who purports to be a ‘public servant!’ The fact that he still seems to be under the protection of ‘Labour Group’ and Senior Officers, just adds to the outrage!

He should do the only decent thing in the circumstances. fess up and resign his seat! NOW! By his own actions he amply demonstrates his unsuitability for public office of any kind.”

Like Watergate, the cover up is what catches up with you in the end! Had this councillor admitted his mistake in the first place, he would no doubt have been embarrassed, but would probably have ultimately survived. That option is no longer available to him! Once exposed he will have to go! Local people will demand nothing less!

What do you think? Leave a comment, click link below.

Previously Published, click Here. Send us information, RikiLeaks.

David Laws – police investigation launched!

Thomas Docherty

Labour MP, Thomas Docherty, has announced that his complaint concerning David Laws is now the subject of an active police investigation!

He has made the following statement;

“The Met have confirmed to me that they will be carrying out an investigation into Mr Laws in the light of the complaint that I made and the evidence they have received from the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s inquiry published last week.”

This has now suddenly got very serious for Laws and may be ultimately career ending, depending on the outcome of the investigation.

Liberals in deep trouble are a bit like buses, two come along at once or is it a case of buy one get one free!

Previously published on Rotherham Politics:

MP refers David Laws to Met Police!

Laws – Hit for six – Apology and suspension!

David Laws – more pain for Clegg!

David Laws, the real lesson?

Oh Dear! Sex and Money again in the Liberal Party!

Election of Borough Councillors for Maltby

The results are in and Christine Beaumont (Labour) has been duly elected for Maltby with 1881 votes.
Michaek Burke (BNP) 388 votes, John Kirk (Ind) 370, Derek Johnson (Con) 322 and Michael Conlon 215 votes.
A turnout of only 35.7% speaks for itself at the interest/apathy coming from Maltby. Interesting that BNP have more votes than Con or Ind. This shows either that the BNP have more supporters who want to see their policies implemented, or that those who have little faith in the current majority want something “different”. I tend to think it’s the latter.
Maltby Town Councillor Jenny Andrews(Labour) has been elected as RMBC councillor for Hellaby. Mrs Andrews has previously been Chair of MTC. She has also previously classed herself as Labour, then Independent, now apparently Labour again. A bit better turnout out at Hellaby with 42.67%.
Results of the election to Maltby Town Council on a further post.

Gerald Smith – A very busy man

Gerald Smith as was mentioned before in a previous post, is one of Rotherham’s most disagreeable of local politicians. He first took his Holderness seat on Rotherham MBC at the election on 4th May 1979, the same day Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, some 32 years ago and Jack Layden was very much in charge back then. His powers are weakening as the years slip by and now only just, has a toe hold left in Cabinet as Cabinet Member, Regeneration and Environment. This years Cabinet when it is announced, may provide further evidence of this politicians waning star.

Smith is also a member of Aston-cum-Aughton Parish Council, to which he was re-elected without much enthusiasm from the voters this year.

Last years publicly revealed councillors allowances put him in fourth place in the Rotherham Greed list, see Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Is The Greediest Of Them All?……. Only Roger Stone (Council Leader), Terry Sharman (Deputy Leader) and Richard Russell (Cabinet Member) had more.

Smith is of course a Labour Politician and has had a ring side seat in the scandals that have afflicted RMBC over the years. He is busy, I list below links to his wide range of activities:

Cabinet Responsibilities:

Committee appointments:

Appointments to outside bodies:

Quite a list I must say, some of these must pay as well, I wonder how much?

These links below are worth keeping an eye on if you are a student of Gerald Smith:

Register of Interests

Gifts and Hospitality

Declarations at meetings

I am collecting anecdotes about Gerald Smith from throughout his political career. If you have a good one, share it with us, either by leaving a comment by clicking on the comment link below or by emailing us, instructions on RikiLeaks.

Blast from the past – Genuine Tyke, John Healey – Now ‘Politicians Politician’!

I wrote this last year on Oct 10th, I wouldn’t take a single word back except to point out that John has grown into his role in opposition admirably and is beginning to comprehensively pick the Tories policies on health and the NHS apart!

The Shadow Cabinet elections have revealed Yorkshireman, John Healey, to have become the consummate politician. Suddenly bursting in to public view to reveal a perfectly formed, gifted man, in much the same way that a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis.

Coming second only to another talented Labour MP, Yvette Cooper in the Shadow Cabinet vote amongst Labour MPs a distinct achievement in itself shows just how his peculiar talents have been recognised by all groups of opinion on the Labour benches.

John’s achievements now eclipse anything other Rotherham representatives of the past or present have managed and still has potentially the most successful period ahead of him.

I am confident that John will perform well at his brief. Taking the Health portfolio, will allow him ample possibilities to play to his strengths and to learn the arts of opposition, which are quite different to being in Government.

If John does not get involved in shaping future campaigns for Labour it will be their loss.

I am glad that the young man that appeared on my doorstep all those years ago, wanting to enter the race for Wentworth, (occasioned by Peter Hardy’s retirement) has handsomely repaid the confidence we placed in him, back on that chilly night shortly before Christmas 1996, much to the chagrin of those who had wished to see inferior, but local candidates.

Rik

More news – Chris Read and Wickersley Labour – were the voters hoodwinked?

Extract from the Labour Party’s ‘Keep it Legal,’ 2011 Election Manual:

“The home address of the candidate must be the official home address – not a business address or a temporary address. The place of residence must be fully stated, including the name of the town or village.”

Pretty conclusive to me, don’t forget this is the minimum required to comply with elections legislation.

Chris Read’s address was therefore deficient and should have been corrected by the Returning Officer who failed to do so even though he could and should have done so, using his legal powers, referred to by the Electoral Commission’s:

Managing a local government election in England: guidance for Returning Officers

I quote from it:

“Candidate’s home address:

4.37 The candidate’s full home address must be included. If, however, any detail is wrong or omitted, the nomination is not automatically invalid if the description of the place is such as to be commonly understood. Also, the Returning Officer has a power to correct minor errors in nomination papers, the use of which is considered below under ‘Correction of minor errors’.”

Who is this, perhaps incompetent, individual who doesn’t seem to understand his professional obligations, legal duties or even the extent of his powers?

Why, it’s our old friend, Martin Kimber, the Chief Executive of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Returning Officer, under a professional obligation to be impartial but appears to have been particularly partisan in this instance.

Martin Kimber’s spokesperson’s explanation in this week’s Advertiser, is at least disingenuous, based as it is on a false interpretation of the legal requirements or incomplete information! Either way, Kimber is going to have some awkward questions to answer!

MP refers David Laws to Met Police!

Labour MP, Thomas Docherty, it is reported has written to the Metropolitan Police asking them to investigate the expenses claims of the Liberal former Cabinet minister, David Laws.

Thomas Docherty said “If this matter was not referred to the police the public would rightly ask is there one law for David Laws, and another for them, If anyone else had fraudulently obtained £50,000 and their defence was that they had done it to protect their privacy, then they would rightfully have had the book thrown at them.”

Looks like Laws’s career is well nigh over after all, perhaps politics was not such a good idea after all.

Maltby’s New Councillors – from maltbyblogger

Maltby’s newly elected councillors

Today’s Rotherham Advertiser comments :

“A Town council dogged by a four-year battle of costly conflicts is hoping for a smoother future after last week’s election results. Maltby was won back by Labour after being outnumbered by Independent members before the local election.

The well documented problems led to last year’s mediation report  – paid for by Rotherham taxpayers – which said that unrest would continue until there was a change of personnel.

Current Chairman of Maltby Town Council  John Kirk, one of four independent councillors said “It was an interesting outcome. I have mixed feelings about how the next four years will be. I hope I’m wrong but it looks like the council was eight years ago when we had four years of inertia and led to the independents coming in 2007. It’s a difficult situation, with so many Labour, four from the same family, and I hope that the dogma does not come through.”

Labour member Carol Stringer said, “We’re hoping for more stability and to achieve more for the people of Maltby than was possible in the last four years.”  ”

Maltby Town Councillor Jenny Andrews, has narrowly taken Hellaby ward as borough councillor. She says that she has had a “magnificent response” to the campaign which was run jointly with Maltby.

Christine Beaumont, elected to RMBC and MTC said, “We knew we were going to win, it was just a question of by how much. It’s been enjoyable and now I look forward to meeting more people, trying to meet their needs and just being more fair.”

It’s a very interesting situation for Maltby, with both the borough and town council results. John Kirk, the current chair of MTC , defeated by Labour in his bid for RMBC is already talking about the dynamics of MTC with regard to Labour members. I am sure that the majority of people want to move forward to better management and better community relations. But the “us and them” mentality seems difficult to break through, whether from councillors or the general public.

The new Maltby Town Council holds it’s first meeting and Annual Meeting on Thursday 19th May. Hopefully, the councillors will  show that they want a new start and have a clear purpose in carrying out their roles as representatives of the public.

http://www.rotherhamparishcouncils.gov.uk/Home/Maltby/maltbyHome.aspx