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Simon Kirby
post Dec 31 2011, 11:37 AM
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In the letters page of the NWN this week, Alan Law accuses Tony Vickers of bringing West Berkshire Council into disrepute by making multiple factual errors in his support of the Sandleford nimbies.

While I would very much like to see all town and district councillors held to account for their actions, I'm not altogether convinced that the letters page is the most appropriate forum for one councillor to accuse another of bringing the authority into disrepute. For one thing it doesn't provide Cllr Vickers with a satisfactory means of stating a detailed defence of what could very well be a legitimate interpretation and expression of opinion, for another it doesn't provide Cllr Laws with a privilege defence if Cllr Vickers were to prosecute the accusation as libel, and then finally a public display of the authority's dirty washing does nothing to my mind to enhance the reputation of the authority.

Having made his complaint in public I'm assuming that Cllr Law has already made a formal complaint to the Standards Committee, and if Cllr Vickers is found to have lied and so brought the authority into disrepute then he needs to resign, but I think the committee needs to consider the appropriateness of Cllr Law's public accusation too because this kind of squabbling erodes my confidence in the authoriy.


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Andy Capp
post Dec 31 2011, 11:49 AM
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I laughed at Cllr Law's letter as well. He complained of Cllr Vickers bring the council in to disrepute, something which, by having his letter published detailing councillor's false statements, he is immediately guilty of doing himself. laugh.gif

I like reading the squabbles actually, as it usually exposes the Tory/Lib Dem hypocrisy.
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JeffG
post Dec 31 2011, 12:25 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Dec 31 2011, 11:49 AM) *
as it usually exposes the Tory/Lib Dem hypocrisy.

Are you referring to the Coalition? Because I'm pretty sure it doesn't extend to local authorities.
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Berkshirelad
post Dec 31 2011, 12:29 PM
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Neither does the concept of privilege apply outside Parliament and Court proceedings
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dannyboy
post Dec 31 2011, 01:00 PM
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Who cares?

Thats what politicians, of whatever ilk do. Squabble.
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Simon Kirby
post Dec 31 2011, 01:25 PM
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QUOTE (Berkshirelad @ Dec 31 2011, 12:29 PM) *
Neither does the concept of privilege apply outside Parliament and Court proceedings

You're thinking of absolute privilege, but qualified privilege would apply to an allegation about a councillor made in confidence to the standards committee's proper officer, and only if the complaint was proved to be malicious would the complainant's defence of privilege fail.


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user23
post Dec 31 2011, 01:32 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Dec 31 2011, 11:49 AM) *
I laughed at Cllr Law's letter as well. He complained of Cllr Vickers bring the council in to disrepute, something which, by having his letter published detailing councillor's false statements, he is immediately guilty of doing himself. laugh.gif

I like reading the squabbles actually, as it usually exposes the Tory/Lib Dem hypocrisy.

How does one Councillor criticising another who represents a different political party, bring the Council into disrepute?
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Andy Capp
post Dec 31 2011, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Dec 31 2011, 12:25 PM) *
Are you referring to the Coalition? Because I'm pretty sure it doesn't extend to local authorities.

No I am not referring to the coalition; merely implying that the two senior Newbury parties are hypocritical.
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Andy Capp
post Dec 31 2011, 02:15 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Dec 31 2011, 01:32 PM) *
How does one Councillor criticising another who represents a different political party, bring the Council into disrepute?

When presented in the manor Cllr law did, it is disrepute by default. Evidence of this are my and Simon's comments above.
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Simon Kirby
post Dec 31 2011, 02:16 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Dec 31 2011, 02:15 PM) *
When presented in the manor Cllr law did, it is disrepute by default. Evidence of this are my and Simon's comments above.

Quite so.


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user23
post Dec 31 2011, 02:19 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Dec 31 2011, 02:15 PM) *
When presented in the manor Cllr law did, it is disrepute by default. Evidence of this are my and Simon's comments above.
You think Councillors disagreeing with each other in public forums such as a newspaper's letters page or the internet brings the Council into "disrepute by default"?
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Andy Capp
post Dec 31 2011, 02:21 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Dec 31 2011, 02:19 PM) *
You think Councillors disagreeing with each other in public forums such as a newspaper's letters page or the internet brings the Council into "disrepute by default"?

No, but a councillor allegedly tabling untruths and another councillor calling out that councillor is.
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Cognosco
post Dec 31 2011, 02:25 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Dec 31 2011, 01:32 PM) *
How does one Councillor criticising another who represents a different political party, bring the Council into disrepute?


And there was me thinking they could not get any more disreputable? rolleyes.gif

This shows something has gone drastically wrong with the old boys system, I thought they only had fake squabbles to show the plebs that they had a choice for what is euphemistically called democracy in Newbury, its just not on old chap don't you know?

They had better **** well get their acts together; dread to think where this could all lead to what with all our troubles over Parkway, dustbins, CCTV etc. No it's just not good enough; get them into headquarters straightaway!

Next we shall have that unruly Garvie asking questions, you know the one that does not play by the proper rules?

No this will just not do! rolleyes.gif




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user23
post Dec 31 2011, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Dec 31 2011, 02:21 PM) *
No, but a councillor allegedly tabling untruths and another councillor calling out that councillor is.
Some moan when Councillors don't criticise or hold each other to account.

Now some are complaining that a Councillor is doing just that.
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Andy Capp
post Dec 31 2011, 02:33 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Dec 31 2011, 02:29 PM) *
Some moan when Councillors don't criticise or hold each other to account.

Now some are complaining that a Councillor is doing just that.

I am certainly not complaining or moaning, but the method chosen by Cllr Law exacerbates the issue. If he had left out the 'disrepute' words in his letter, at least he wouldn't have looked like a hypocrite in my eyes.
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Simon Kirby
post Dec 31 2011, 02:40 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Dec 31 2011, 02:33 PM) *
I am certainly not complaining or moaning, but the method chosen by Cllr law exacerbates the issue. If he had left out the 'dispute' word in his letter, at least he wouldn't have looked like a hypocrite in my eyes.

Exactly. Complaining about Tony Vickers being factually inaccurate without saying specifically what those factual inaccuracies were and is just run-of-the-mill intellectually flaccid politicking that we have come to expect from lib dem and conservatives alike, but an accusation of disrepute is something much more serious and only properly made in confidence to the Standards Committee.


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Cognosco
post Dec 31 2011, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Dec 31 2011, 02:29 PM) *
Some moan when Councillors don't criticise or hold each other to account.

Now some are complaining that a Councillor is doing just that.


Hey calm down it's only for show it's not real you know? Remember this is Newbury it will all be sorted out behind closed doors as usual! Dear oh deary me! rolleyes.gif


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Vodabury
post Dec 31 2011, 05:22 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Dec 31 2011, 11:37 AM) *
In the letters page of the NWN this week, Alan Law accuses Tony Vickers of bringing West Berkshire Council into disrepute by making multiple factual errors in his support of the Sandleford nimbies.

While I would very much like to see all town and district councillors held to account for their actions, I'm not altogether convinced that the letters page is the most appropriate forum for one councillor to accuse another of bringing the authority into disrepute.


I agree. Such is not the correct way to make an allegation of this nature - as SK has suggested, there are more appropriate avenues available.

Perhaps it is just a bit of grandstanding and will get sorted out...

Happy New Year to all.
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dannyboy
post Dec 31 2011, 06:31 PM
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He probalbly chose to do it in such a way as the nimbies have recived a fair amount of column inches in the NWN.
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dannyboy
post Dec 31 2011, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE (Cognosco @ Dec 31 2011, 02:25 PM) *
:

This shows something has gone drastically wrong with the old boys system, I thought they only had fake squabbles to show the plebs that they had a choice for what is euphemistically called democracy in Newbury, its just not on old chap don't you know?

LOL, you think the councillors are part of the OBN.
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