Statement from Cllr David Kendall

January 28, 2009 8:00 AM
David Kendall

Cllr David Kendall has been cleared of all accusations

I welcome the Standards Board's decision to accept the findings of the Independent Investigators report which found that I had NOT breached any codes of conduct in the case bought against me by Cllr Louise McKinlay, Chairman of the Highways Panel. This now means the case is closed.

Justice has been done on an issue where I knew I was innocent all along. This matter was discussed by members as an item of confidential business but I believe it was deliberately leaked to the press to try and discredit me and, by association, my Liberal Democrat colleagues.

I am pleased that the Inspector saw through this whole charade and in clearing me made his position clear by stating a number of key points in his report. These points are probably best summed up by the following comment he made: "I do not find that Cllr Kendall's behaviour amounted to aggressive behaviour to the extent that a reasonable person with full knowledge of the circumstances would have viewed it as such in the context of the political exchange of views between two councillors".

I have been a member of Brentwood Borough Council for seventeen years and during that time have never been referred to the Standards Board until now. To be reported by Cllr Mrs McKinlay following a conversation in which I had apologised to her for getting exasperated during a meeting and then complimenting her on being one of the better Tory Chairs seems quite extraordinary. As a politician you accept disagreements and attacks on your policies and views, but when people resort to this type of measure to try and shut down the opposition then matters have clearly got out of hand. This unnecessary investigation has been running for four months and has caused significant upset and distress to those closest to me. Hopefully lessons will have been learnt for the future by everyone involved.

As a ward councillor and leader of the main opposition on Brentwood Borough Council my job is to speak up for the residents of Pilgrims Hatch and hold this Conservative Administration to account, whether they like it or not. I will not be intimidated or diverted from that task and make no excuses for continually highlighting the issues that are important to the community and where I think the Conservatives fall short on delivering what the residents of Brentwood deserve.

I now intend to get on with the job I was elected to do.