Cllr Clive Goddard (Con) (pictured) was first elected to the then Shepway District Council – now Folkestone & Hythe District Council – in 2007. He was elected in the Lydd ward with 964 votes. Over the last three local elections, 2011, 2015 and 2019, Cllr Goddard has been returned to office, with a sizeable majority.
Cllr Goddard is the Chairman of the Planning Committee and represents the people of Walland and Denge Marsh Ward.
We understand that Cllr Goddard was recently interviewed under caution at Folkestone Police Station in respect of an allegation that he supplied false information to the Folkestone & Hythe District Council Returning Officer, Dr Susan Priest, in relation to the 2019 Local Government Elections, held in May of this year. We stress being interviewed under caution does not imply guilt.
A variety of sources inside and outside the Council say that the allegation was that he was not qualified to be nominated as a candidate for Walland & Denge Marsh Ward, as he resided in Hastings and not Lydd, as we understand.
Well placed sources inform us a file is now being prepared to be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service for them to review and decide if Cllr Goddard should face a formal prosecution.
In a telephone call with our public face, earlier today, Cllr Goddard would neither confirm or deny the allegations.
Cllr Goddard is not the only Cllr to have been interviewed for alleged election violations. Back in April the then Cllr Russell Tillson (pictured above) was also interviewed by Kent Police for alleged electoral violations.We stress being interviewed under caution does not imply guilt. However, advice was sought from the electoral commission and their advice to Kent Police was that although Mr Tillson had technically committed an offence in relation to his qualification to stand as a Candidate in a particular Ward, that as he was not elected for that Ward, then it was not in the public interest to pursue a formal prosecution.
We understand that Mr Tillson was given a formal warning by way of letter and told that if he were to commit a similar offence again then formal proceedings would be considered.
Mr Tillson is currently the Chairman of the Local Folkestone & Hythe Conservative Association.
As we understand one of the complainants against former Cllr Russell Tillson was the now Labour Cllr, Ray Field, (pictured) who is both a District and Town Cllr in Folkestone.
The Shepwayvox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent