Redbridge councillor accused of flouting planning regulations misses meeting he was meant to be in charge of
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:21 09 July 2018
The borough’s licensing vice-chairman – who is currently under investigation for allegedly asking a planning committee for political favours – blamed a “diary mix-up” for his absence at a meeting.
Labour Councillor for Hainault Roy Emmett failed to attend a licensing commitee meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road, on Friday morning (July 6).
As a result the meeting was chaired by Conservative Councillor Ruth Clark and also attended by Labour Councillor Anne Sachs.
Among the items on the agenda was a request to change the licence of takeway restaurant Tasty Fried Chicken, in Ilford Lane, to a late night refreshment license.
Explaining his absence, Cllr Emmett said: “I wasn’t at the meeting. I missed it.”
“I should have been there but I got my diary mixed up.
He added: “It was a routine licensing sub committee meeting where the quorum is two.
“I did offer to go in but they offered to go on without me.”
He added that he did not wish to delay the meeting.
But Conservative leader Councillor Linda Huggett said that all councillors were emailed with the dates of all meetings.
She said: “He should have known the dates - he would have a council corporate calendar.
“It’s just disappointing that. as the elected councillor, he should be representing his residents.
“He is collecting a salary and should turn up for his meetings.
“If he is ill that is a different matter.
“If it was a member of my group I would be having serious words with them.”
In March, the Labour chief whip allegedly flouted planning regulations by writing to the chairman of the borough’s planning committee about an item that would be heard at meeting concerning the opening hours of a community centre in New North Road during Ramadan.
In the correspondence, seen by the Recorder, he told the chairman that the applicant had supported Labour candidates in the past and now wanted support from Labour members.
He asked the chairman to “do your best”.
Responding at the time leader of the council, Councillor Jas Athwal said the allegation has been brought to the council’s attention and both Conservatives and Labour voted for the proposals at the planning meeting.
“I take such matters very seriously and a full investigation by an independent expert is underway, the findings of which will be dealt with in accordance with the council’s arrangements for standards complaints.
“I am not party to these investigations as they are being undertaken by an independent investigator at the request of the monitoring officer, but I am confident that the councillor involved will be cleared.
“There should be a presumption of innocence, but I also hold all councillors to a high standard and take all allegations very seriously.
“Whilst I am supportive of all my councillors, I have never been afraid to take strong action against those who have fallen short.”
Redbridge Labour said that Cllr Emmett could not comment on the allegations during an ongoing investigation.
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