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Flintshire Council will not contribute to banned councillor's costs

Published date: 03 July 2014 |
Published by: Jamie Nield-Siddall 
Read more articles by Jamie Nield-Siddall  Email reporter


 

A LOCAL authority will not make any contributions towards a disqualified councillor’s legal costs.

Flintshire Council has indicated it will not give any indemnities to former Mostyn councillor Patrick Heesom following a court ruling which led to him being banned from office for 18 months.

Mr Heesom, 76, was disqualified from public office and being a member of Flintshire Council for two-and-a-half years last July after evidence he bullied Susan Lewis, the local authority’s former director of community services, was accepted at a tribunal.

He challenged the disciplinary ruling and, following a four day hearing, a suspension period of 18 months was imposed.

Under the Local Authorities Regulations 2006, Flintshire Council is prevented from making a payment to Mr Heesom as it was ruled that his actions of bullying were deliberate.

In a report to go before members of the Flintshire Council standards committee on Monday, councillors are being told the council gave Mr Heesom an indemnity – a promise of payment – for his legal fees in respect of costs from his original tribunal case which began in January 2011 and ran for 58 days over a two-and-a-half year period.

However, as Mr Heesom was found guilty at the tribunal, the local authority declined to make any payment.

In a statement, a Flintshire Council spokesman said: "The legislation stipulates that where a member is suspended or disqualified, they have to repay any money given to them under an indemnity.

“However, the council has not paid any money to Mr Heesom.

"In light of Mr Heesom’s disqualification, the council is not liable to pay anything for the hearing at the case tribunal or for the appeal to the high court."

At his tribunal in 2013, Mr Heesom was found guilty by the Adjudication Panel for Wales of 14 breaches of the councillors’ code of conduct over a two-year period, involving nine different sets of circumstances.

But following a High Court appeal, three of those breaches were quashed and Mr Heesom’s disqualification was reduced to 18 months.

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  1. Posted by: wonderwho at 13:56 on 03 July 2014 Report

    When will we know the true cost to the taxpayer for this case we have a right to be given a full breakdown of costs incurred by Flintshire

  2. Posted by: RolandCleth at 14:42 on 03 July 2014 Report

    Heesom should be paying the Council's costs. Alternatively, the money could be spent on a party celebrating his 18 month absence.

  3. Posted by: dukedom at 18:15 on 03 July 2014 Report

    Rolandcleth- look at tribunal evidence on record- Chief Executive, Everett, did complaint to Ombudsman without Councillors approval .This admitted in evidence by Councils monitoring officer, and thus not in accordance with rules. So, are he and 6 fellow signatory senior Council employees not responsible. Just pointing out.

  4. Posted by: dukedom at 18:20 on 03 July 2014 Report

    Also just thought- does that mean that Cllr Gareth Roberts, who publicly called some public ' Taliban' will be reported by Everett, or does that not fit in with Labours vendetta against certain people and those Councillors that do not support them at Council

  5. Posted by: kevinweston11 at 22:16 on 03 July 2014 Report

    What was the purpose of the indemnity and why was it given? Without it the case may have ended quickly or not even taken place.

  6. Posted by: RolandCleth at 09:36 on 04 July 2014 Report

    dukedom, it might have been a technical breach of the rules, but, in the end, it led to justice being done. Heesom is a bully and it's a shame that action wasn' t taken years ago.

  7. Posted by: dukedom at 10:07 on 04 July 2014 Report

    Roland cleth- did you have experience of such. Why did you not appear at tribunal then as Council witness. Remember the rules were not adhered to by Chief Exec, Everett,, and its the costs under scrutiny in this article. Also, Bernie Attridge appeared at inquiry in defence of Heesom and saying he saw none of alleged incidents AND highlighted some other naughties going on at County Hall. Perhaps they need exposure now, but then another cover up will happen.

  8. Posted by: wonderwho at 11:46 on 04 July 2014 Report

    I just hope when they make a tv program of this whole story any money derived will go towards filling the pot holes and looking after the ratepayers which is what all local authorities should be doing not fighting between themselves and costing us a fortune, they are no more than big kids and empire builders !!!!!

  9. Posted by: Dave Trelawnyd at 17:29 on 04 July 2014 Report

    Having attended the tribunal I have to say the court was so biased as to be laughable, and the standard of proof so poor that alleged comments by Cllr Heesom at meetings were accepted as factual even when he could prove he was not there. Fortunately Strasbourg will rule om his human rights, not Mold

  10. Posted by: dukedom at 21:12 on 07 July 2014 Report

    Dave Trelawnyd- like being in a third world dictatorship court room, where decision made already. The performance of the panel so unprofessional, so biased, and gave no credence to fact that, as you say, Heesom was not present at time of some allegations. Other Councillors swore under oath that as meeting attendees they had not witnessed allegation. Only one speaking against Heesom was Cllr Wooley- he was later proven to have lied under oath in certain damning area.

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