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News and Comment April 2012

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24 April (Part 3) - When is a fraud not a fraud?

When Bexley council says it’s not and doesn’t allow the Crown Prosecution Service to express a view.

The new Home page has been revised to allow references and links to a number of interesting documents. These are Bexley council’s audit of former council leader Ian Clement’s Purchasing/Credit Card. The letter they sent to Clement seeking his comments on specific misuses. The formal report by the Audit Committee and a letter from the police confirming that Bexley council did not believe a crime had been committed. If you read those documents you will see that the abuse was identical to, but more extensive than, those that resulted in prosecution for misuse of his GLA card.

Clement went to a BT funded event in the USA. The council paid his accommodation and travel costs. Clements claimed for overnight subsistence. He visited the Netherlands on a fully funded trip and claimed £272.25 subsistence. Other claims ran up a bill of more than £2,000 and Clement was asked to pay it back, but none of it is fraud; oh no. Bexley council says so.

Local newspaper comment may be viewed here. Clement’s deputy at the time was councillor Teresa O’Neill.

Dear councillors Seymour and Bauer,

Thanks you so very much for providing the opportunity and incentive to revisit another of Bexley council’s skeletons and bring to the attention of a wider audience how Bexley council protects its own, whether they be obscene bloggers or those who misuse taxpayers’ money.

The Bonkers team owes you a great debt of gratitude. The number of visitors may have fallen from its peak of ten times normal but it has settled down at a welcome twice the old numbers. Without you that may not have been possible.

Yours sincerely,

Until September of last year, Bexley council detailed Clement’s debt on its website, claiming that he had paid back about 10% of it and they were pursuing him for more. However following that page being given publicity on this site it was withdrawn and the information is now kept secret.


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