Council wants action over leaflet claim
4:17pm Wednesday 30th October 2013 in News
A CONTROVERSIAL leaflet could land a Prestwich councillor in hot water.
At a full council meeting in July, Liberal Democrat Cllr Donal O’Hanlon asked how much council tax, business rates and council housing rent had not been collected in the past three years.
The answer was £12 million, but Cllr O’Hanlon got mixed up when he repeated the figure in his autumn 2013 leaflet put through Prestwich letterboxes.
Failing to mention business rates and council housing rent, the leaflet said: “Bury’s Labour-run council is making cuts and staff redundant — but, at the same time, it failed to collect £12 million of council tax in the past three years.”
Now, Labour leaders have threatened to ask for disciplinary action to be taken against Cllr O’Hanlon. At last week’s full council meeting, Labour councillor Trevor Holt pointed out that only £2 million of council tax had not been collected in the past three years, and criticised the leaflet as inaccurate.
Bury Council leader Cllr Mike Connolly said: “It is unacceptable that the leaflet carries inform-ation that is not correct and we shall be taking steps to have the matter referred to the standards comm-ittee.”
The committee considers alleg-ations of councillors breaching the code of conduct, which includes a section on “honesty and integrity”.
Cllr O’Hanlon said: “This is still £12 million of uncollected debt that should be spent on local services. The important fact here is that Bury Council has failed to collect in £12 million of income.”
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