Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Councillor Clifford is Innocent!!

BBC1’s Garrow’s Law: Tales from the Old Bailey. Garrow would have been on my side

Dear Cllr Clifford,

I understand that you may be already aware that complaints had been made, so I just want to confirm that I received five complaints from members of the public all expressing anger with the content of your blog posts relating to the Tumbledown Dick decision and one also alleged undue influence on the planning process itself.

In my capacity as Monitoring Officer I have looked into these complaints and have come to the conclusion that the content of your personal blog is not a matter covered by the Code of Conduct for Councillors which relates only to actions undertaken in a member’s official capacity as a councillor.

I have looked into the other matters raised and have concluded that there is nothing to suggest that you acted other than in accordance with recommended practice, and of course you are not a member of the Development Control Committee so took no part in the decision made. 

I have now informed the complainants that we will not be taking any further action in respect of these complaints.

Kind regards
Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer


Donna Wallace said...

I wonder how much influence you had on Gareth Lloyd? Innocent? Not as far as I am concerned. Your obvious gloating was far too telling. You should join Gareth and become a Tory MP. You are both ideal for the role.

Anonymous said...

You did your level best to undermine efforts to save the building and sway public opinion, despite being on record from just a year ago saying almost exactly the opposite.

You might well escape sanction by keeping this away from your official position - but anybody watching can see this is just a technicality and that your words and attitude here betray someone unfit for office.

David Clifford said...

Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate many (especially those that have posted here) hate with a venom any contrary view to theirs.

Thank heaven we live in a democracy and not some Stalinist state dictating not only what people say but what they think.

Like most things people here have not checked the facts. Thanks to local councillor involvement early in the process, preserving what could be saved was discussed well in advance of the application.

I am therefore pleased the application took that into account and preserved the core part of this delapidated, neglected and abused building in our town.

Far from undermining, I assisted actively the saving of this building. It will now be doing what it was built to do many years ago.

Provide food and refreshment for local people and travellers. Thankfully they will not be urinating in the street and puking in the gutter so much now.

Still, we do not want to go in circles again. This post is all about an impartial council official establishing my innocence of any alleged offence.

Just because I say something someone may find offensive does not mean I have committed an offence. It does show some people are easily offended perhaps.

Elected officials are entitled to their own views. Again I know this is offensive to some.

You can please some of the people all of the time, and all the people some of the time, but...

Anonymous said...

You really think a MuckDonalds is better than a live music venue??? Thank God I don't live in Farnborough anymore with utter philistines like you having a tinpot petty power.

Anonymous said...

I have followed the Save the Tumbledown campaign with interest, although didn't really have a view on what I wanted to happen to the Tumbledown. As the campaign revved up I found it more and more interesting and started to read the FB pages, the RBC website and the local paper.
I just wanted to say, as an observer, that although the above letter does prove your 'innocence' you'd be hard pressed to ever prove you are a gentleman, as you certainly do not behave like one.
J Maley, Farnborough.

Anonymous said...

It is correct, councillors are entitled to free speech, but as councillors, they are also expected to comply with a code of conduct and act for the local community.

You have miserably failed on both.

They are also expected to check the facts, not regurgitate the lies drip fed to them by officials.

Once again, lies and half truths being spouted on The Tumbledown Dick.

The building was subjected to wilful neglect. The Council refused to serve enforcement action.

If there was such concern at the state of the building, then why no CPO served?

And please do not say no money.

The Council has been happy to make a capital investment in the Vue Cinema, a commercial cinema chain and a bad employer.

The Council was happy to squander £1 million (or maybe more if rumours not within budget are true) on the shoddy re-paving of Queensmead.

When Andrew Lloyd learnt of McDonald's acquiring The Tumbledown Dick, he could not suppress his glee. For details of this I refer you to a private exchange of e-mails between Lloyd, then Borough Solicitor Karen Limmer and someone only identified as Richard.

I have been past The Tumbledown Dick late at night. I have not once seen the behaviour you describe. On the other hand, go into Aldershot late at night. Or visit Farnborough Gate in the evening.

Who is providing this false briefing on The Tumbledown Dick? As you and the ignorant councillors on the planning committee, are all singing from the same song sheet. Is it officials, or is it the Andrew Lloyd – Peter Moyle cabal that runs the council, keeping everyone in the dark, including yourself?

You are agreed you have been offensive. Code of Conduct requires courteous to members of the public. How do you reconcile the two and claim you are innocent?

What is this Stalinist State you are rabbiting on about?

The Stalinist State I see is the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor dictating to the community. I see no accountability, no democracy. Indeed, at the planning meeting, the head of planning, as ever in the pocket of developers, instructed the committee to ignore the local community, and told them they were not there to make a democratic decision. Not that they needed any telling what to say, how to vote, as that had already been decided beforehand.

Most people have checked their facts. It is ignorant councillors who have failed to check their facts.

Demolishing one of the oldest buildings in Farnborough, is not saving it.

Demolishing the building is contrary to the Council policy on local listed buildings.

Refusing to carry out an architectural and historical survey of the building BEFORE it is demolished, is contrary to the Council policy on local listed buildings.

Why was this not written into the s106 legal agreement? Yet another example of deliberate negligence and maladministration by officials and failure to exercise due diligence by councillors.

To say the building will be serving food, is to stretch the definition of what we call food, or at least food fit for human consumption.

Do a little research on what goes into industrial burgers. Horsemeat is the least of your worries. Diseased horses, rotten meat several years old, tuned green, causing those who had to handle it to vomit as the smell was so bad.

You can fool some people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time …

Your Opinion said...

What you write on a blog is your opinion and you are entitled to it. If you were racist or homophobic, then the PC brigade would have something against you, but simply voicing an opinion about a building is up to you. Others have their opinions, you have yours.

At least you are brave enough to voice it.

Idiots who try to censor you are clearly against free speech, but if we gagged their opinions, they'd be quite cross, don't you think?

David Clifford said...

.. Nicely put. I think you deserve the last word.