Vested interests on Cameron’s doorstep

Private Eye has welcomed a newcomer to its Rotten Boroughs column in its past 26 issues: Cotswold District Council.

Here in the idyllic Cotswold constituency, neighbouring  David Cameron’s Witney, there has been massive fraud, resulting, so far, in the prosecution and  sentencing of former Cotswold Water Park Society CEO Dennis Grant, who embezzled £700,000 of the charity’s funds. Now an independent, external police force has been brought in by the County Council to investigate further allegations.

One of the key campaigners leading the way in exposing these dealings is Liberal Democrat Councillor Esmond Jenkins. Elected to represent the Water Park ward with a landslide 70% in a 2009 by-election, Esmond has since played a pivotal role in exposing the events at the Water Park.

But in a turn of events so farcical it could only take place in the sleepy local government district of the Cotswolds, Esmond is being hauled before a Standards Board hearing to defend himself against claims he “bullied” officers at Cotswolds District Council.

Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Tyler has accused the Council of “tying up” the councillor in a “ludicrously trivial investigation”.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, complaints have come from the head of the company at the heart of Water Park re-development, Watermark Ltd. And Cotswold District Council’s very own Chief Exec, whose job description requires neutrality, has added his voice to the debate, commenting to the press.

Please show your support for Esmond, by liking our Facebook page “Esmond is Innocent” where you can find more links to the extensive press coverage of this affair.

* Sean Davey is the Chair of London Liberal Youth

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This entry was posted in Local government and News.

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