today rss twitter

Complaint against councillor Colin Campbell
to Bexley’s Monitoring Officer

Dear Mr. Alabi,

With reference to a letter from Lynn Tyler, Legal Services Team Manager, dated 11th September 2013, informing me that she had found that there had been no breach of the Members Code of Conduct in relation to my complaint against Councillor Colin Campbell, submitted on 9th July 2013 and that on that basis had decided to take no further action.

I am requesting, as is my right, that the decision made by Lynn Tyler be reviewed and that a subsequent decision be made to refer my allegation for investigation.

The grounds upon which I consider the decision should be reviewed is the fact that the complaints process under which officers of the council investigate complaints from members of the public is corrupt, in that decisions are never based on the evidence provided, but on bias by investigating officers towards council employees.

I am dismayed that in her conclusion, Lynn Tyler has stated that even if she had formed the opinion that Councillor Campbell's comments had amounted to prevarication as alleged, this would not be a breach of the Members Code of Conduct, as it is not referred to in the code.

Does that mean that prevarication by a councillor is not deemed to be dishonest or lacking in integrity. (Section 2(2)).

Does that mean that prevarication by a councillor is promoting and supporting the high standard of conduct deemed necessary when serving the public (Section 3(8)).

Does that also mean that prevarication by a councillor does not compromise, or is likely to compromise, the impartiality or integrity of those who work for, or on behalf of, the authority (Section 3(9)(c)).

That comment by Lynn Tyler is clear evidence, in my opinion, that her investigation was subjective, based on her apparently low standard of what constitutes honesty and integrity, rather than an objective investigation, based on the evidence.

With reference to her comment in relation to my allegation against Councillor Campbell, she states that the council has permitted audio visual recording at the Civic Recognition Awards and Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education. What relevance has that got with regard to my complaint?

In a response to a Freedom of Information Request submitted by me on 8th July 2013, requesting Bexley Council to provide details of the number of requests from members of the public to record, in any format, video, audio, or still, any committee meeting in the past two years, the council’s response was that there had been ten requests to record council/cabinet meetings in the past two years and that permission had been refused to all ten requests.

The response also stated that a Constitutional Review Panel Meeting would be held on 3rd September 2013, to discuss the protocol.

Councillor Campbell would have been aware of this, which is clear evidence that he contravened three sections of the members Code of Conduct when he stated on national television that filming is allowed by Bexley Council, all you have to do is phone up before the meeting and inform the council of what you intend to do.

In his television interview, Councillor Campbell stated that "The people concerned belong to a small group of people locally that have a history of disrupting meetings and being abusive, so the police were called after the meeting was stopped four or five times by the chairman.

That statement is untrue, supported by evidence in a response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by me on 8th July 2013.

If I, or any other person, had a history of disrupting meetings or being abusive, why is there no record of these occurrences and why have we never been banned from attending meetings, as has happened to another member of the public in recent times.

It is therefore perverse that Lynn Tyler should make a comment that "It may be the case that none of the group have received a written warning from the council for abusive conduct, that is not in itself evidence that abusive conduct has not taken place"

Lynn Tyler then goes on to say, in her defence of Councillor Campbell that, "In the second part of your contention you state that none of the group has ever been ejected from a meeting, however, as you are aware, the police were called to attend the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting on 19th June 2013, because the group of persons causing disruption would not desist and refused to leave, These persons, including you, only left when asked to do so by police.

That statement is also untrue as nobody at the meeting was ejected as a trespasser. We all left of our own accord, having waited for the arrival of police to ask them why they had been called.

This is verified in a response to a Freedom of Information Review Request submitted by me on 15th August 2013, when Bexley Police confirmed that they had issued a press statement which said " Police attended Bexleyheath Civic Centre at 2025 hours on 19th June 2013. Half a dozen people present and left when police arrived. There was no evidence of any offences being committed and there were no arrests".

The press statement by the police is clear evidence that the offence of trespass had not and was not being committed by any members of the public present.

It must be apparent to any third person that the investigation carried out by Lynn Tyler is a whitewash, in order to protect a councillor who lost self control when she didn't possess the legal knowledge on how to handle a situation and subsequently made decisions that were contrary to the Local Government Act 1972.

Please acknowledge receipt of this correspondence in accordance with council protocol,

Yours sincerely,

Michael Barnbrook,

4th September 2013

Return to the top of this page