SDC Cllrs Expenses Investigation 3

A member of the Shepwayvox team reported both Cllr Simmons link to details of Councillor Peter Simmons  who is Chairman of the Audit and Standards Committe, which looks after Cllrs behaviour and Former Cllr Russell Tillson Related image 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

alistair.stewart@shepway.gov.uk   Related image CEO of SDC

or david.monk@shepway.gov.uk  link to details of Councillor David Monk 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.

Also see :  Expenses Investigation 2   & expenses investigation 1

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

Shepwayvox

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3 Comments on SDC Cllrs Expenses Investigation 3

  1. David Baker // October 31, 2015 at 21:22 // Reply

    I certainly hope that if a Councillor is found to have knowingly claimed expenses wrongfully/falsely then he or she should face criminal proceedings.
    Councillors are elected by the people and should be absolutely clean, I trust that Mr Alistair Stewart will understand just how the public feel about our Councillors being squeaky clean.
    I wait in anticipation how this issue develops.

    Like

  2. As a member of the public who helps pay the wages of SDC Councillors, I would be extremely upset if a whitewash of any investigation into expenses scandal by any Councillor is forthcoming.
    The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth should be paramount, whoever he or she is involved

    Like

  3. Complete transparency is appropriate here, and sanction, however slight, should be applied to those found to be abusing the system.

    However, personal experience implies that SDC, some of their officers as opposed to most of their Councillors, are not fully aquainted with the concept of honesty. I consider it unwise to hold my breath!

    Like

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