Sometimes asking questions works


Little did I think when Regular Reader noticed interesting alterations in Shaukat Ali’s declaration of interests, it would set off a doughty investigator of inquiring mind, to ask the simple question why? The emails are reproduced in sequence from the … Continue reading

More ‘Blue Badge Abusers’ Fined!

Friday’s Star brought us more news of the successful prosecutions of three ‘blue badge abusers’, who used someone else’s blue badge when the holder was not present!

Emma Gaffney, aged 38, of Ascension Mews, Maltby, Ronald Steele, 67, of Herringthorpe Close, Rotherham and Waseem Kazmi, 42, of Middle Lane South, Rotherham, were all found guilty and fined for fraudulent use of another’s blue badge when the holder was not present.

These tales sound awfully familiar to us at Rotherham Politics with the case of our, very own blue badge abusing councillor who evaded prosecution thanks to the hard work of the then Borough Solicitor, Tim Mumford, who found a loophole which resulted in the failure to prosecute him. Tim Mumford, then also put the fear of God in to Labour Group and others to stop any leak! Some hope! All that, to protect the reputation of one rather minor member, with a chequered and rather inglorious past already.

His crime was exactly that of these three examples, why then, is Rotherham’s blue badge abusing Councillor still being protected by Roger Stone, Jahangir Akhtar and Rotherham Labour Group, to their eternal shame? We should be told!

Councillors and Co-opted members code of conduct.
Officers code of conduct.

Why are local politicians celebrating? The death of the hated Standards regime, that’s why!

The Localism Bill abolishes the mandatory Standards regime, put in place by the Local Government Act 2000, and replaces it with the freedom for councils to adopt a Voluntary Code of Conduct.

Before our councillors start popping the champagne corks, things are not as simple as that. The Localism Bill does not remove the obligation to act within the ‘Principles of Public Life’ and it will be interesting to see how those charged with the legal responsibility to ensure that Councillors private interests, do not conflict with their public duties, deal with these issues at the local level. Methinks, Richard Waller, is going to be busy?

Local Government Lawyer is a very useful resource not only to professionals but also to amateurs, such as the readership of this blog, helping us to hold those who are in power to account. This recent example, for which the author is grateful, is instructive.

See also: A plain English guide to the Localism Bill – Update.