Brentwood Tories in voting row over party donation

18:00 14 February 2014

Russell Quirk

Russell Quirk


Two opposition councillors have referred the entire Conservative group on the planning committee to legal officers for not declaring their financial interests.

Cllr Keith Parker, Brizes and Doddinghurst wardCllr Keith Parker, Brizes and Doddinghurst ward

During last week’s planning committee, councillors were told to declare their interests by Cllr Russell Quirk, member for the Brentwood First Group, as they were to debate a development put forward by Tory donor and Brentwood resident Bill Ives.

The steel tycoon donates in excess of £500,000 nationally and £10,000 locally to the Tory party.

Lib Dem leader, Cllr Barry Aspinell, and Cllr Quirk have asked monitoring officers to query whether the Tories had pecuniary financial interests that they should have disclosed and could therefore not adjudicate over the planning application.

The Tory councillors argued that Mr Ives’ donation was to the local party and therefore not a pecuniary interest.

In the meeting, on February 4 at Brentwood Town Hall, Cllr Aspinell said: “If what Cllr Quirk is saying is correct, it’s not a planning consideration, it’s one on our ability and our credibility of making an unbiased decision.

“I’m trying to save your necks because if you do stay and vote, you will be in trouble.”

Conservative Cllr Keith Parker responded: “We as individuals have had no personal income to help with any of our expenses.”

Cllr Parker also spoke of a resident’s email to him. He said: “There was one email that I took offence with which suggested that this council was in the pay of a particular resident and we should be disqualified. I take umbrage to that and am quite happy to sit here and make a decision.”

Council leader Louise McKinley said: “This is yet again a spurious allegation against the Conservative group by a desperate opposition who continue to lower the standard of politics.”

Cllr Quirk said: “In the end, they voted against it.

“I have asked the monitoring officer to point me in the right direction to where it says payments should be direct to the individual. It doesn’t say that anywhere.”


Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:15
Fly-tipping in Little Gerpins Lane

Fly-tippers blocked Little Gerpins Lane, in Upminster, with rubbish, just one minute away from Gerpins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre.

Yesterday, 16:31
Police are appealing for information

A terrifying late-night attack left two teenagers in hospital after they were hit by a car and then assaulted by three men who got out of it.

Yesterday, 16:17
View of London City Airport from the sky Picture: Andrew Holt

Campaign groups have expressed their opposition to the decision to allow a 30per cent increase in planes to fly over parts of Havering.

Yesterday, 15:46
Elm Park Merry Minon Christmas celebration. Elexis Woodhall, seven with minons

Minions worked to ensure festive fun was had by all in Elm Park on Friday.

Yesterday, 15:19
The Rubettes Featuring Alan Williams

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as the nights get darker, gifts are being bought and the radio is full of classic hits.

Yesterday, 13:14
Scargill Infant School pupils with K-9 staff

Animal-loving youngsters were taught how to look after their pets when a dog rescue charity visited their school.

Yesterday, 13:02
Junior doctors have voted in favour of strike action (Pic:PA)

Junior doctors voted in favour of strike action over contract changes proposed by the Health Secretary.

Yesterday, 07:00
Queen's Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford

Medical staff working in Havering and Redbridge were the victims of more than 400 physical assaults over the past 12 months.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder