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Tory Double Standards?

May 17, 2012 2:32 PM

Cllr David Kendall has questioned the ruling administration's "double standards" over the dichotomy of action taken by the Conservatives over the appointment of chairs.

Back in 2009, Lib Dem Deputy Leader Cllr Barry Aspinell was stripped of his chairmanship of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee whilst he was being investigated by the Standards Board (charges he was subsequently completely cleared of). However, this year, the Leader, Cllr Louise McKinlay, has appointed a number of her own councillors to the front bench despite them currently being under investigation by the Standards Board.

Cllr Kendall asked how she could justify appointing members of her own administration as Chairs of Panels and Committee's when like Cllr Aspinell they face Standards Board hearings that have yet to be determined?

Cllr McKinley's vague response failed to answer the question properly and it seems there is one set of rules for members of the administration and a different set of rules for members of the opposition.

Cllr Kendall said:

"Cllr Barry Aspinell should never have been stripped of his Chairmanship prior to his Standards Board case being determined but sadly this is the action the Conservatives took. Cllr Aspinell was subsequently found innocent of the charges laid against him by the Standards Board for England but was never reinstated as Chairman of O&S or given an apology by the administration.

"I am now delighted to see him back again as Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee and would like to wish him well for the Council year ahead".

The full appointments for the Liberal Group (lead member in bold) are:

Leader of the Opposition: Cllr David Kendall*

Deputy Leader of the Opposition: Cllr Barry Aspinell

Policy & Resources Board: Cllr David Kendall & Cllr Ross Carter (plus 8 Conservatives & 1 Labour)

Asset, Infrastructure & Localism Panel: Cllr David Kendall & Cllr Barry Aspinell (plus 8 Conservatives & 1 Labour)

Audit Committee: Cllr Graeme Clark & 1 TBA (plus 3 Conservatives)

Environment Panel: Cllr Graeme Clark, Cllr Philip Mynott & Cllr James Sapwell (plus 7 Conservatives & 1 Independent)

Housing & Health Panel: Cllr Karen Chilvers & Cllr Vicky Davies (plus 8 Conservatives & 1 Labour)

Overview & Scrutiny Committee: Cllr Barry Aspinell* (Chair), Cllr Karen Chilvers & Cllr Philip Mynott (plus 7 Conservatives & 1 Labour)

Parking, Borough Liaison & Highways Localism Panel: Cllr Graeme Clark & Cllr James Sapwell (plus 4 County Councillors, 8 Conservative & 1 Independent)

Planning, Development Control and Licensing Committee: Cllr Ross Carter, Cllr Karen Chilvers & Cllr Vicky Davies (plus 7 Conservatives & 1 Labour)

Retail, Community & Culture Panel: Cllr Philip Mynott & Cllr James Sapwell (plus 8 Conservatives & 1 Independent)

Public Information Panel: Cllr Karen Chilvers (plus 2 Conservatives)

Standards Committee: Cllr Barry Aspinell & Cllr Philip Mynott (& 3 Conservatives & 1 Labour)

* denotes special responsibility allowance receipt for these roles only.