'I knew I was innocent' claims councillor

January 14, 2009 12:12 PM
By Brentwood Gazette reporter in http://www.thisistotalessex.co.uk
David Kendall

Cllr David Kendall has been cleared by an independent investigation into a Conservative councillor's accusation

THE leader of the Liberal Democrats in Brentwood says he is poised to be cleared of all of charges levelled at him by a fellow councillor.

Cllr David Kendall says accusations from Conservative councillor Louise McKinlay that he showed "disrespectful conduct" following issues raised in a highways panel meeting have proved to be unfounded.

Cllr Kendall said the independent report by the investigating officer from Rochford council shows he had not breached any codes of conduct.

Cllr Kendall was also accused of bringing his office or the local authority into disrepute - a point he says the report has also dismissed.

The report into the incident in September will still have to go to Brentwood Borough Council standards board but Cllr Kendall said on the basis of the report it was "highly unlikely" any action will be taken.

Cllr Kendall said: "I am very pleased that the independent investigation has cleared me of any wrongdoing as I knew I was innocent all along.

"While I respect any member or resident's right to refer a councillor to the standards board, I am still puzzled as to why Cllr McKinlay brought this case against me four weeks after our conversation took place. If she had genuinely been that upset by what I had said then surely she would have referred the matter a lot sooner.

"I have been advised by the borough solicitor that I should not comment any further until the matter has been considered by the standards board on January 21.

"In the meantime I will continue getting on with the job of representing the residents of Pilgrims Hatch and holding this Conservative administration running Brentwood to account."

The incident is said to have been triggered over a disagreement into highways issues in Pilgrims Hatch.

Cllr Louise McKinlay stands by her allegations. Speaking this week, she said: "Cllr Kendall has not been cleared. The process is that it has to go to the standards board and they will decide.

"I very firmly stand by what I said before that his behaviour to me was highly inappropriate and when the facts do come out people will see."

A spokesman for Brentwood Borough Council said they could not comment at this stage.