Havering Council leader cleared of breaching code of conduct

ACCUSATIONS the leader of Havering Council made derogatory remarks about voters have been declared unfounded.

Two members of the public reported Cllr Michael White to the authority’s standards committee, criticising his conduct.

In addition to accusing Cllr White of making negative comments about them, the pair also said he had not responded to requests for help when they contacted him.

At a closed meeting of the standards consideration sub-committee, members heard about the alleged breaches, which are said to have taken place more than three years ago but were referred to the committee last year.

Following the investigation, the committee cleared Cllr White.

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The minutes of the meeting, in which Cllr White is referred to as Councillor X, said: “The complaint from two members of the public stated that Councillor X had failed to respond to email correspondance in August 2007 asking for assistance in a legal dispute.

“The complaint further alleged that in November 2007 Councillor X had made derogatory remarks about the complainants in a telephone conversation with the opposing part in the complainants’ legal dispute.

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“The complainants further alleged that Councillor X’s actions had led to them losing their court case and had contributed to one of the complainants suffering a nervous breakdown.

“The complainant also stated that Councillor X had failed to respond to a further email from the complainants in April 2010 asking for confirmation of whether he had made the alleged remarks to the opposing party.”

An investigation was carried out into whether Cllr White had breached two provisions of the Code of Conduct signed by all councillors – those of treating others with respect and of not conducting yourself in a manner which would bring the office or authority into disrepute.

The probe found there was no evidence to support the allegations made, and that there was no failure on the behalf of Cllr White.

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