No regrets’ from councillor in row with town clerk
A COUNCILLOR who was rapped over the knuckles for his behaviour says he has no regrets. Cllr Peter Rook, 69, who has been an independent councillor in Biggleswade for 36 years, was found guilty of bringing his office into disrepute by a hearing of Mid Bed
A COUNCILLOR who was rapped over the knuckles for his behaviour says he has no regrets.
Cllr Peter Rook, 69, who has been an independent councillor in Biggleswade for 36 years, was found guilty of bringing his office into disrepute by a hearing of Mid Beds District Council's ethics and standards committee.
It was alleged Mr Rook had shouted at Biggleswade Town Council clerk Doreen King and failed to show respect to Biggleswade mayor Cllr Wendy Smith.
But Cllr Rook says the incidents were blown out of all proportion and any discipline should have been handled by the town council.
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"I admit raising my voice to the clerk while on a building site visit but I didn't shout at her. Regarding the incident with the mayor, she put her face close to me and I felt I was not showing her any disrespect," said Cllr Rook at his home in Hitchin Street, Biggleswade.
"There was no need to take the matter to the district council. The whole business could have been handled by the town council. The mayor should have consulted her colleagues on these matters.
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"Instead the mayor just consulted her Tory colleagues and not the whole council and that was that. But I have always been a good councillor and had the community at heart.
"If they had banned me from attending council meetings I would have gone along as a member of the public which I am perfectly entitled to do and spoken at the start and end of meetings.
"People are having a go at me because I am outspoken. I was in Biggleswade market place on Saturday and people were supporting me and I am sure they will again when the elections come around next May.
"I will continue to voice my opinions at council meetings but I feel I have done nothing wrong."
Cllr Rook added: "I was dealt with fairly by the panel and they heard eight counts against me and they were all thrown out apart from two.
"Many of the allegations were just trivial. I have no regrets and will continue to do my best for the people of Biggleswade."
Cllr Smith said: "I had to be guided by the code of conduct and we went through official procedures.
"I regret this action had to be taken but I had no other choice. He has apologised and that is the end of the matter.