Longest-serving councillor says I won’t apologise’

PUBLISHED: 13:15 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 May 2010

Cllr Peter Rook  am08rook2

Cllr Peter Rook am08rook2

A councillor has broken his silence two weeks after being kicked off all a council s committees and he is still refusing to apologise for his behaviour. Peter Rook has been on Biggleswade Town Council for 38 years but was removed from all the committees h

A councillor has broken his silence two weeks after being kicked off all a council's committees and he is still refusing to apologise for his behaviour.

Peter Rook has been on Biggleswade Town Council for 38 years but was removed from all the committees he served on last month for what the council said was unacceptable behaviour.

Cllr Rook, 71, of Hitchin Street, Biggleswade, was removed from the committees when councillors voted 6-1 with two abstentions to axe him following reports of his conduct in and out of the council chamber.

Councillors were given a report that said: "Over the last two years the town clerk has been subjected to harassment by Cllr Rook and we believe an apology would be in order."

Cllr Rook failed to attend the meeting because he was on holiday and is adamant he will not be making an apology and will speak from the public gallery at future meetings.

"I am not going to apologise to anyone. In my mind I have nothing to apologise for," said Cllr Rook.

"I was only asking the clerk about the costs and accounts for the farmer's market and the town market which I am perfectly entitled to as a councillor and why they are done separately.

"I also had a problem with the former mayor Cllr Wendy Smith and was told I must apologise to her which I have refused to do."

Cllr Smith eventually reported Cllr Rook's behaviour to the standards board at Mid Beds District Council who criticised him for his behaviour.

Cllr Rook has also clashed with Cllr Sheila Grayston on council matters.

She recently said: "His manners have not been in keeping with a man in public office.

"He has been given the option to apologise either in writing or verbally and did neither."

But Cllr Rook remains defiant saying: "I am not appealing against this decision by the council to take me off the committees and I will not be apologising to anyone because as far as I am concerned I have done nothing wrong. I have always refuted these allegations that have been made against me.

"I am the longest serving councillor in Biggleswade and will continue to do my job as a councillor and will speak from the public gallery if I have to."

Former mayor Cllr Peter Vickers recently said of Cllr Rook: "He has a long history of bad conduct towards staff and he has got away with it for years.

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