Council's internal probe into Baldwin investigation

Thurrock Gazette: Clare Baldwin Clare Baldwin

THURROCK Council has launched an investigation into how allegations of fraud against a Labour councillor have been handled.

The Thurrock Gazette revealed last week how Clare Baldwin, councillor for Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park, has been investigated for circumstances surrounding her housing benefit relating to properties in Tilbury and Loughton.

At a meeting held with the Conservative group’s leader and deputy leader, the council’s chief executive Graham Farrant confirmed an internal probe is now under way and that the case will be reviewed by an external organisation. thought to be the council’s auditor RSM Tenon.

Cllr Phil Anderson, leader of the opposition Conservative group, said: “I am pleased the council seems to be taking this matter seriously and are accepting that there must be no appearance of a cover-up here.

“Cllr Baldwin should expect to be treated exactly the same as any other member of the public – that means a fair and impartial investigation, followed if necessary by a fair and impartial trial. My concern is that so far that doesn’t seem to have happened.

“We will be keeping the pressure on to make sure there are no further delays and any internal mishandling of this case is exposed and dealt with.”

A leaked council memo gave details of how Cllr Baldwin was interviewed in October 2012 about her living arrangements. and alleged benefits irregularities.

The Gazette has complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office over the council’s responses to Freedom of Information requests on the matter.

Council leader John Kent did not respond to Gazette requests for a comment on the matter.

Comments (5)

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3:24pm Wed 22 May 13

Indred Cold says...

Surely this should be a matter for the Police not Comrade kent and his mates
Surely this should be a matter for the Police not Comrade kent and his mates Indred Cold

6:55am Thu 23 May 13

coddy says...

Agree with Indred Cold should be a police matter
Agree with Indred Cold should be a police matter coddy

12:46pm Thu 23 May 13

ebagumtrebor says...

Kent is so desprerate to cling to his cash he'll do and say anything to ensure Keily, Baldwin and co hang on to their seats. He couldn't care less whether every Labour ocuncillor was committing fraud, as long as he can pocket his cash. Are we to witness Labour councillors flogging rolex watches for a fiver out of the council chamber before he does something about it.
Kent is so desprerate to cling to his cash he'll do and say anything to ensure Keily, Baldwin and co hang on to their seats. He couldn't care less whether every Labour ocuncillor was committing fraud, as long as he can pocket his cash. Are we to witness Labour councillors flogging rolex watches for a fiver out of the council chamber before he does something about it. ebagumtrebor

4:45pm Thu 23 May 13

jb411 says...

Indred Cold wrote:
Surely this should be a matter for the Police not Comrade kent and his mates
Has anyone actually reported it to the police? It is theft after all.
[quote][p][bold]Indred Cold[/bold] wrote: Surely this should be a matter for the Police not Comrade kent and his mates[/p][/quote]Has anyone actually reported it to the police? It is theft after all. jb411

6:05pm Fri 24 May 13

Reallyhadenough says...

Will be interesting to see when or if this probe actually starts. If it does how long will it be drawn out, look how long the one about Keily been going on?

Bet you Labour will start to bang on how wonderful they are doing on something and hoping we will all forget about this. Keep up the good work Thurrock Gazette, some needs to hold Labour and the council to account.
Will be interesting to see when or if this probe actually starts. If it does how long will it be drawn out, look how long the one about Keily been going on? Bet you Labour will start to bang on how wonderful they are doing on something and hoping we will all forget about this. Keep up the good work Thurrock Gazette, some needs to hold Labour and the council to account. Reallyhadenough

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