Committee decide not to investigate ‘Gerrymandering’ complaint based on a technicality

A Havering Committee has decide not to investigate a ‘Gerrymandering’ complaint against Council leader Damian White based on a technicality. The chair of the committee Cllr. Matt Sutton claimed the complaint came outside of the time limit allowed and for that reason it cannot be heard.

Councillor Damian White told the Havering Daily:

“The Council’s adjudication and review committee has made a decision on this issue and as far as I am concerned the matter is closed. I am far more focused on ensuring that Havering Council protects lives and livelihoods as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Residents can be confident that the electoral boundaries for the borough are set not by any councillor or council officer but by an independent panel of experts.”

The Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas was angered by the clearing of Havering’s Council leader and said:

“This absolutely beggars’ belief on every level. I was given every assurance that the hearing to consider the charges against Councillor White would be in public and that the process would be impartial and transparent. What has transpired this week is anything but.  

“Unlike the previous hearing the panel in this session comprised entirely Conservative Councillors who, behind closed doors, have decided to sweep their Leader’s transgressions under the carpet. This is a complete betrayal of public trust and undermines any notion that this inquiry was unbiased. It should also be noted that the decision of the Conservative Councillors to drop the investigation was against the recommendation in the report. The panel dismissed the allegations based on a technicality. This opens the floodgates for all manner of abuses of power, setting a precedent that if you can avoid complaint for three months you can get away with anything. An almost unbelievable position for a public figure to take and a snub to open democratic processes.”

Havering’s Residents Association told the Havering Daily:

“The outcome of this meeting demonstrates contempt of the Nolan principles Councillors are expected to uphold. Councillor Best was recorded speaking at the meeting, however he failed to submit a declaration of interest. Councillor Matt Sutton had not submitted an apology for the recorded meeting and therefore should have declared an interest. The H.R.A had submitted complaints about the process as well as two Barristers letters that were totally ignored. It was clear from the start the process would be abused, bringing the Council into disrepute.”

The Nolan Principles
Selflessness. Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest.
Integrity. …
Objectivity. …
Accountability. …
Openness. …
Honesty. …

2 thoughts on “Committee decide not to investigate ‘Gerrymandering’ complaint based on a technicality

  • 19th October 2020 at 12:00 pm

    And that folks is democracy Havering Council style. No independent investigation, just cronies and those in the Gerrymandering meeting, taking part in the Adjudication and Review Meeting. All done without due regard to the rules of common decency. Mr White really did get his way whereby he has managed to ensure that things went to his interpretation of democracy. I hope he and his cronies feel proud of the way they have upheld the principles they all stood for when they were elected as Councillors. It just goes to show how corrupt those that run The Havering Council are. No concern for those who elected them, just themselves and the Queens shilling they so eagerly take for their services to Mr White. As Mr White says in the article above. ‘The Council’s adjudication and review committee has made a decision on this issue and as far as I am concerned the matter is closed’. That’s what he would like, but I really do hope it is not. I just pray that there is another way the people of Havering can get the justice they deserve when such an injustice is perpetrated against them. For all the wards that are not ‘con’ controlled, watch out, things are going to change for the worse. For those wards who are ‘con’ controlled, to coin a phrase, things can only get better. Mr White will see to that!

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