Councillor cleared of abuse
THERE were jubilant scenes in the Town Hall after a councillor was cleared of breaching the members code of conduct by uttering disrespectful words to another councillor. Applause was heard after the committee confirmed that they would not be upholding t
THERE were jubilant scenes in the Town Hall after a councillor was cleared of breaching the members' code of conduct by uttering disrespectful words to another councillor.
Applause was heard after the committee confirmed that they would not be upholding the complaint against Cllr Jeffrey Tucker (Independent Local Residents' Group, Rainham and Wennington) by Cllr Fred Osborne (Con, Brooklands) on Tuesday.
Chairman Jack Knowles said: "We can not be satisfied that Cllr Tucker did utter those words and even if he did we can not warrant that the words would be a breach of the code of conduct."
But the committee warned Cllr Tucker about becoming too emotional about issues and advised the two councillors to air their differences.
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Cllr Osborne originally made the complaint after he alleged he heard Cllr Tucker say to him on November 7, 2008 that "it might be finished in there but it's not finished out there".
The comments were alleged to have been made during the lunchtime break in the 29 Lessington Avenue Inquiry.
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The inquiry was investigating the decision to allow Muslim Kamal Siddiqui, 58, of Lessington Avenue, Romford, permission to continue using his bungalow for Friday prayers. Mr Siddiqui's appeal was upheld.
Cllr Tucker was the only councillor to support Mr Siddiqui in his appeal against the council's refusal of planning permission and he argued that some councillors were against him supporting Mr Siddiqui.
Havering National Liberal Party chairman, David Durrant, defending Cllr Tucker said: "Cllr Tucker has said that he never spoke the words and if the words were spoken but in a non-aggressive way they become harmless.
"It happened in a small area and anyone acting aggressively would not just have been noticed by one person or someone else from the same party but by everyone."
At the end of the meeting, Mr Durrant said: "Cllr Tucker was brought before the committee because of his opposition to the attacks on Mr Siddiqui and in revenge for his ultimate vindication by a Government inspectorate of his position.