A member of the Shepwayvox team reported both Cllr Simmons who is Chairman of the Audit and Standards Committe, which looks after Cllrs behaviour and Former Cllr Russell Tillson to the Police along with other members other the Public. The Police have responded and their response is below.
“On behalf of the Chief Constable, I acknowledge receipt of your email below and note the additional comments that you sent to our Force Executive Support for the Commissioner’s Office regarding the same matter. I must apologise for the slight delay in responding to you however we wanted to ensure that we reviewed all the information sufficiently before responding.
Having liaised with the Criminal Investigation Department for the East Division which covers Shepway District, I can confirm that following their initial review they have been in contact with Shepway Council to discuss the matter in more detail and ascertain the current position. As a result, I can inform you that they have confirmed an appropriate investigation into the matter is currently taking place and is due to be concluded within the next 2 weeks.
Upon completion of that investigation by the Council, their findings will be passed to the Audit and Standards Committee as a matter of course with these types of investigations. If following their review, the Council deem that police involvement is required the Audit and Standards Committee will act upon this.
Given this current status of the Council investigation, there is currently no requirement for Kent Police to commence a criminal investigation at this time. However, should we of course receive contact from Shepway Council and / or the Audit and Standards Committee – Cllr Simmons is Chairman – completion of their investigation to the contrary, then we will of course look for that to happen through the standard Home Office crime recording process.
I trust that this provides you with a sufficient update and you should be contacted again by Shepway Council in due course following conclusion of their investigation in 2 weeks’ time.”
Staff Officer to Chief Constable Alan Pughsley, Kent Police
Police HQ, Sutton Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 9BZ
Former Cllr Russell Tillson went to SDC’s offices with his solicitor to give his evidence in the investigation. He allegedly dropped Cllr Simmons in it. There are rumours that Cllr Simmons may well have to pay back up to a couple of thousand pounds. Should this happen, should he step down as a Cllr? It is not known if Cllr Peter Simmons had a solicitor present or not.
The next Audit & Standards Committee is on the 2/12/15 according to SDC council meeting calendar. No doubt the part of the meeting which will be about the investigation into the Cllrs expenses, will possibly be done behind closed doors and data protection cited.
Will the Residents of Shepway be able to see the report into the investigation?
Will either member or former member be reprimanded?
Will either member have to return any monies?
Who investigated? How thoroughly?
Why were these anomalies not spotted by SDC staff?
no doubt you may have questions to. If so, send them to
firstname.lastname@example.org CEO of SDC
or email@example.com the leader of SDC, who was of the mind – so it is rumoured, to let the Cllrs pay it all back and will sweep it under the carpet.
We at Shepwayvox will not comment because we’ll get sued no doubt, but let’s just say, we can see which way the wind may well be blowing. Might there be a by-election in the near future in New Romney? Watch this space