Council Deny Investigation is 'Waste of Money'
UKIP Councillor Benjamin Dennehy claims its political
Ealing Council say they have spent just over £1000 - not £4,000 - investigating controversial comments made by a fomer Conservative Councillor.
Benjamin Dennehy was kicked out of the Tory party for 'dishonouring the community', after writing a personal blog highly critical of Southall - he's now a UKIP member. A complaint was made about the blog by the Liberal Democrat group leader, Gary Malcolm, and the Council agreed to investigate.
Mr Dennehy claims it's taken 12 months and been a waste of tax payers money - which he claims was around £4,000.
Mr Dennehy says:
"This is a political investigation designed to stifle free speech and debate about the Conservative led Government and Labour party's immigration policies, both of which are in favour of open, unfettered access to all. Since I drew attention to this matter in Southall there have been half a dozen raids on this very point.
"As a resident and local Councillor I am disgusted and shocked that Labour has spent £4,000 on such a childish political stunt, particularly as Labour claim they have no cash for local services! In a few months they will find me in breach and the punishment will be a simple "Don't do it again." What a waste of money and resources.''
A council spokeswoman said:
"A complaint was made against Cllr Dennehy by another councillor under the councillors' code of conduct complaints procedure. The complaint was found to have sufficient merit to justify investigation.
"The investigation was carried out by in-house officers, with no cost to the council except for officer time. Following detailed questions from Cllr Dennehy, officers sought external legal advice costing £1126.67 plus VAT."
The standards committee will report back on the findings of the report - the date is yet to be set by the council.
The report will not be made public unless the committee decide that it should.
3rd April 2013