Tendring: Former council leader to consider making formal complaints about colleagues
10:00 15 March 2014
An investigation into claims of “inappropriate behaviour” by a number of Tendring District Councillors will not be referred to Essex Police – but a full internal probe could still be carried out.
The investigation was prompted by allegations made by former TDC leader Peter Halliday, who says he is now considering whether to make a formal complaint about the behaviour of two of his former colleagues.
Mr Halliday stood down as leader of the council following a formal cabinet meeting on Friday December 13, 2013. He resigned his position as both leader of the council and also as ward member for the St Johns ward in Clacton.
After he stood down he provided information to the authority, prompting the investigation by the council’s legal services manager and monitoring officer.
TDC chief executive Ian Davidson said the initial internal investigation has now been completed.
It had looked into allegations made at the cabinet meeting, newspaper reports and further information provided by Mr Halliday.
“The monitoring officer has informed me that she has concluded her enquiries and is satisfied that there is no evidence of any potential criminal activity or corruption,” said Mr Davidson.
“Therefore there is nothing to be referred onto Essex Police to investigate further and we will be notifying them of that.”
However, Mr Davidson confirmed that Mr Halliday had referred to some matters which could be potential breaches of the council’s own code of conduct.
“These will be dealt with strictly in accordance with the complaints procedure agreed by TDC members last year,” he said. “The next stage in the process will be to seek clarification on the allegations.”
Last night Mr Halliday confirmed he had been contacted by the council, which requested that he make formal complaints about two councillors.
He said he would be considering his next move over the weekend.
Mr Halliday added: “I always said that the way certain councillors behaved wasn’t fit and proper and wasn’t the right way for them to conduct themselves.
“I have been very specific in my statement to the council.” He said the legal services and monitoring officer had contacted him recently to ask him to expand on his complaints and lodge a formal complaint – something he is still considering.
“I will make a decision over the weekend as to whether I’m going to make that complaint more formal. It’s disappointing that the council can’t act on what I have told them.
“Clearly there’s something in what I’ve said. Hopefully it might make people think about how they act and how they behave and get things done and decisions made.”