Havering Council hearings panel finds Cllr Damian White has not breached members’ code of conduct

The standards hearing panel of Havering Council’s adjudication and review committee concluded on Thursday evening that Cllr Damian White had not breached the members’ code of conduct.

The panel considered a report from the council’s legal department and accepted the investigating officer’s conclusion that no action Cllr White had taken had brought the council into disrepute.

In respect of every allegation, the panel found that Cllr White’s actions had been taken either before he became a councillor or in a personal capacity.

The report had considered a number of allegations relating to Cllr White’s eligibility to stand as a councillor in the 2010 elections, concerning his main residential address at the time of the election.

There were also allegations concerning the address in which his vehicle was registered, and the claiming of a single person’s council tax discount for his Romford address when two people lived there.

According to the report considered by the panel last week, Cllr White told the council his mother had bought him the car and he believed she had given her address on official documents “so that she would be the point of contact” for tax and insurance, as she was paying them.

And Cllr White’s own explanation for the discrepancy in council tax payments, sent in a letter to the council tax department in November 2011 – a copy of which appeared in the report pack for last week’s meeting – stated he had “inadvertently paid the incorrect amount of council tax” during the seven months in question

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In the letter, Cllr White apologised for the inconvenience and said he wished to reimburse the council for the full amount.

Cllr White declined to comment on the panel’s findings.

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