Cllr Clive Goddard & Russell Tillson interviewed under caution for Alleged Electoral Violations
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.
Quite incredible the basic underlying thinking of these councillors!! = How this must extrapolate out in to their civic and public duties?
They should have taken legal advice from returning officer, Dr Susan Priest, or her Deputy if they had any doubts about their ability to stand for election in their respective wards. Their failure to do so demonstrates either ignorance of the law (for which there is no excuse) or, a cynical disregard for the law. They should both remember that over weaning pride is often a precursor to a dramatic fall from grace.
Tillson should be suspended from all involvement regarding decision making and not allowed to come back until he is cleared of all suspicion. This is what would happen if he were a council officer. Also maybe you could find out who the 10 people were who proposed and seconded his nomination form?