Probe launched over Tory councillors who voted for plans in Pendle

This Is Lancashire: Probe launched  over Tory councillors who voted for plans in Pendle Probe launched over Tory councillors who voted for plans in Pendle

COUNCIL chiefs have launched an investigation into Tory councillors who voted through a controversial planning application despite the party receiving a donation from the firm behind it.

Libra Textiles, parent company of Boundary Mill in Colne, made the donation to Pendle Conservatives last June.

But Tory chiefs hit back saying the donation was ‘completely transparent’.

Last month, five Conservative councillors helped to vote through plans for a new garden centre at the retail outlet at the end of the M65, which will create 300 jobs.

A sixth, Coun Paul White, declared an interest and didn’t take part in the debate.

He told the meeting that the donation was to Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson’s election campaign, of which he is manager.

But Labour group leader Mohammed Iqbal lodged an official complaint with the council against Coun White and the other five councillors — Graham Waugh, Joe Cooney, Margaret Foxley, Neil Butterworth and John McBeth — who took part in the debate and voted.

“There is a perception from the public that councillors and MPs are in the pocket of big business,” said Coun Iqbal.

“I think these councillors need to consider their position in light of this.”

Joe Cooney, leader of Pendle Conservatives, said: “We welcome the opportunity to prove that nothing untoward has gone on, and are confident that this investigation will prove that.

“We have always been open and honest about this donation.”

David Brown, chairman of Pendle Conservatives, said: “Donations to political parties are completely transparent, and published online, as was this one.

“The donation was made by Libra Textiles to support the re-election of Andrew Stephenson MP. Andrew has no influence in the planning process, so for Pendle Labour to draw that conclusion is misleading at best.”

Philip Mousdale, deputy chief executive at Pendle Council, said: “I have consulted with the independent person and have decided that I should now carry out an investigation of the complaint.

“I would stress that this should not be taken to imply that at this stage I have come to any view as to whether there has been a breach of the code of conduct.

“However, the complaint raises a number of complex issues, both as regards this case and of wider application.

“The complaint has also already been the subject of considerable publicity and public comment and I consider it is in the public interest that it is investigated fully. I expect that the investigation will take several months to complete.”

Comments (8)

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2:15pm Wed 7 May 14

maxcollie says...

FIX! This is what the tories are good at
FIX! This is what the tories are good at maxcollie
  • Score: 8

2:47pm Wed 7 May 14

slants says...

There is a perception from the public that councillors and MPs are in the pocket of big business,” said Coun Iqbal.
I think you mean we know they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There is a perception from the public that councillors and MPs are in the pocket of big business,” said Coun Iqbal. I think you mean we know they are!!!!!!!!!!!!! slants
  • Score: 8

7:06pm Wed 7 May 14

andy1 says...

Clearly a conflict of interest which the Standards in Public Life Committed need to investigate.
Clearly a conflict of interest which the Standards in Public Life Committed need to investigate. andy1
  • Score: 8

11:07pm Wed 7 May 14

fedup with your lies says...

maxcollie wrote:
FIX! This is what the tories are good at
Very true! But it's just not the conservatives. While your at it mr mousdale check how planning permission was obtained by the tourism portfolio holder going back 3 years. It seems it's who you know what seems to be working at pendle council.
[quote][p][bold]maxcollie[/bold] wrote: FIX! This is what the tories are good at[/p][/quote]Very true! But it's just not the conservatives. While your at it mr mousdale check how planning permission was obtained by the tourism portfolio holder going back 3 years. It seems it's who you know what seems to be working at pendle council. fedup with your lies
  • Score: 6

8:09am Thu 8 May 14

TONY WALES says...

This is as bad as the granting of taxi licences and planning permission for take away shops.
Do any councillors never accept money to make sure that these are given the go ahead?
A bit like calling the kettle black
This is as bad as the granting of taxi licences and planning permission for take away shops. Do any councillors never accept money to make sure that these are given the go ahead? A bit like calling the kettle black TONY WALES
  • Score: 7

8:30am Thu 8 May 14

jenkinsroy says...

I think this matter should go public as I for one is very much in
mind that something was or someone is trying to get back handers
here it is not just the M.P. here it goes all the way back to the government
has well they need the money because all the faces show their recovery
plans are wrong we are still in deep water so all the money sent back
help keep them afloat all the number crunching will not help they
need any type of money they can get there hands on.?
So if this mean sell off land to big company to build they will tell all
there M.P. TO VOTE THE PLANES IN WHYEVER OR NOT THE PEOPLE
WHERE THE WORK IS BEING CARRIED OUT DO NOT WANT IT .
So why at the same time NOT look into the lib dem in our town where this
garden center is go up why did they not vote for it to be stop what are they getting out of this after all the lib dem in our town cut everything to the
borne to send money back to this government and i know you will find
out if you look hard and deep they also have a vested interest in the
garden center going up .
iI believe THE LIB DEM here did not give the planning permission for
a car park why ??? I believe this is so they can get more money out of the
company to found there and the tory 2015 elections
So MR Philip Mousdale, DO THE LOT ALL AT ONCE AND LET US ALL
HERE IN COLNE KNOW YOUR FINDING SO WE CAN MAKE OUR MINDS
UP ON WEVER OR NOT TO VOTE FOR ANY OF THEM IN THE
2015 ELECTIONS .?
AND IF YOU FIND ANYTHING WRONG THE PEOPLE MUST BE TOLD HERE IN COLNE WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW .
AND ALL THEM INVOLVED IN THIS MATTER WHO YOU INVESTIGATE
MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND TREATED ACCORDINGLY
DISMISSED AND FINED A LOT OF MONEY AND NOT ALLOWED TO STAND FOR ANY PARTY EVER AGAIN
I think this matter should go public as I for one is very much in mind that something was or someone is trying to get back handers here it is not just the M.P. here it goes all the way back to the government has well they need the money because all the faces show their recovery plans are wrong we are still in deep water so all the money sent back help keep them afloat all the number crunching will not help they need any type of money they can get there hands on.? So if this mean sell off land to big company to build they will tell all there M.P. TO VOTE THE PLANES IN WHYEVER OR NOT THE PEOPLE WHERE THE WORK IS BEING CARRIED OUT DO NOT WANT IT . So why at the same time NOT look into the lib dem in our town where this garden center is go up why did they not vote for it to be stop what are they getting out of this after all the lib dem in our town cut everything to the borne to send money back to this government and i know you will find out if you look hard and deep they also have a vested interest in the garden center going up . iI believe THE LIB DEM here did not give the planning permission for a car park why ??? I believe this is so they can get more money out of the company to found there and the tory 2015 elections So MR Philip Mousdale, DO THE LOT ALL AT ONCE AND LET US ALL HERE IN COLNE KNOW YOUR FINDING SO WE CAN MAKE OUR MINDS UP ON WEVER OR NOT TO VOTE FOR ANY OF THEM IN THE 2015 ELECTIONS .? AND IF YOU FIND ANYTHING WRONG THE PEOPLE MUST BE TOLD HERE IN COLNE WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW . AND ALL THEM INVOLVED IN THIS MATTER WHO YOU INVESTIGATE MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND TREATED ACCORDINGLY DISMISSED AND FINED A LOT OF MONEY AND NOT ALLOWED TO STAND FOR ANY PARTY EVER AGAIN jenkinsroy
  • Score: 7

10:43am Thu 8 May 14

pendlegirl says...

Can someone from the Tory party explain to me that if they have nothing to hide, why is the council saying the investigation will take months, if I was one of the honorable members being investigated, I would be worried. As a Colne resident against this huge destruction of our countryside, I hope the planning permission is on hold pending this investigation because of alleged corrupt councillors in the pocket of this company....It stinks if you ask me!
Can someone from the Tory party explain to me that if they have nothing to hide, why is the council saying the investigation will take months, if I was one of the honorable members being investigated, I would be worried. As a Colne resident against this huge destruction of our countryside, I hope the planning permission is on hold pending this investigation because of alleged corrupt councillors in the pocket of this company....It stinks if you ask me! pendlegirl
  • Score: 6

11:57pm Fri 9 May 14

Pendlesider says...

when a donation is made to a political party, there is no obligation to give reason as to why or where the donation should be spent. The donar need'nt specify this, the party decides.
.
therefore the tories, in their pretence that the money/donation was specifically donated for a certain task, is an attempt to inveigle and deceive the public.
.
as such, David Brown, chairman of Pendle Conservatives is simply misleading people by asserting the donation 'was for use for other party reasons such as to aid elect a candidate'.
.
conservative party members on the decision making planning committee should have declared a pecuniary interest and refrained from voting. .
.
The onus was on the colne tory councillors as to determine whether they were affected by the pecuniary interest in relation to a matter under
consideration by the council. Sadly, the £20,000 bribe did not sway these councillors from declaring an interest (contrary to advice from council officer mousdale) and as such the planning application was agreed.
.
the onus therefore lays with the procedures adopted by the advising council officers since they had the remit to enforce and/or insist the elected members code of conduct was followed.
.
contrary to what council officer philp mousdale thinks, there is no 'complex issue' in question since the donation was made just 'prior' to the planning application.
.
shame on you tory councillors who knew exactly why boundary mills parent company made the donation to your ill-gotten gains party. You are a disgrace to Colne and your morales match that of your sorry deceptive leader and poor excuse for a (non-elected) prime minister.
when a donation is made to a political party, there is no obligation to give reason as to why or where the donation should be spent. The donar need'nt specify this, the party decides. . therefore the tories, in their pretence that the money/donation was specifically donated for a certain task, is an attempt to inveigle and deceive the public. . as such, David Brown, chairman of Pendle Conservatives is simply misleading people by asserting the donation 'was for use for other party reasons such as to aid elect a candidate'. . conservative party members on the decision making planning committee should have declared a pecuniary interest and refrained from voting. . . The onus was on the colne tory councillors as to determine whether they were affected by the pecuniary interest in relation to a matter under consideration by the council. Sadly, the £20,000 bribe did not sway these councillors from declaring an interest (contrary to advice from council officer mousdale) and as such the planning application was agreed. . the onus therefore lays with the procedures adopted by the advising council officers since they had the remit to enforce and/or insist the elected members code of conduct was followed. . contrary to what council officer philp mousdale thinks, there is no 'complex issue' in question since the donation was made just 'prior' to the planning application. . shame on you tory councillors who knew exactly why boundary mills parent company made the donation to your ill-gotten gains party. You are a disgrace to Colne and your morales match that of your sorry deceptive leader and poor excuse for a (non-elected) prime minister. Pendlesider
  • Score: 4

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