Council leader cleared of wrong-doing
By Roddy AshworthA COUNCIL leader whose conduct was referred to a national standards watchdog has been cleared of any wrongdoing.Terry Allen, the Conservative leader of Tendring District Council, was referred to the Standards Board of England following an allegation he behaved improperly over the issue of community policing in Frinton.
By Roddy Ashworth
A COUNCIL leader whose conduct was referred to a national standards watchdog has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Terry Allen, the Conservative leader of Tendring District Council, was referred to the Standards Board of England following an allegation he behaved improperly over the issue of community policing in Frinton.
Garry Calver, a Labour Harwich town councillor, accused Mr Allen of withholding details of a scheme for community police officers from political opponents and other small authorities.
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He claimed Mr Allen had only given information about the scheme to Frinton and Walton Town Council, of which he is also a member, so it could benefit from it ahead of other areas in the district.
But Mr Allen insisted he had been investigating the possibility of community police officers as a town councillor well before the district council was informed of any scheme.
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Now the Standards Board of England has ruled Mr Allen had not behaved improperly and the case would not be investigated.
“The information does not suggest the councillor was under a specific obligation to inform other members or officers of the district council, nor local and minor authorities situated within the boundaries of the Tendring District Council,” it said.
“It is considered that there was no information disclosed to support the contention that councillor Allen withheld information or used his position to confer an advantage.
“It is noted that he was working on the project well before information was provided to the district council and that the information was available to others, including on the Internet.
“It is further considered that the councillor gained an advantage for his town council because he was pro-active, not for any improper reason evidencing bad faith.”
Mr Allen said he was pleased he had been cleared by the board, but stressed he had never believed there would be any other outcome.
“In my opinion the complaint was completely politically-motivated. I never thought I had anything to answer for. I was acting in the interests of the people who elected me,” he added.
Mr Calver said: “Having left this matter in the hands of the Standards Board, I feel obliged to fully accept its findings.”