Tories on warpath over councillor investigation

THE leader of Thurrock Council has given the clearest admission yet that a Labour councillor is being investigated for benefit fraud.

Cllr John Kent, leader of the borough’s ruling Labour Party, said there have been “indications” Clare Baldwin, a Labour councillor for the Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park ward, is been investigated for circumstances surrounding alleged benefit fraud relating to properties in Tilbury and Loughton since October 2012.

The admission comes more than five weeks after the Gazette revealed investigations are being carried out.

At the time Ms Baldwin, Cllr Kent and the council declined to comment on the allegations and have remained tight-lipped since, although no-one has moved to deny the allegations.

But last Wednesday, responding to questions by Conservative leader Phil Anderson, Cllr Kent said: “Every member has seen recent press articles which have indicated one member is being investigated for benefit fraud.

“I’m not in a position to comment on when those investigations will be complete. That isn’t for any elected member to comment on.”

Cllr Anderson said afterwards: “Yet again Cllr Kent seems to believe he can ignore questions regarding his members’ behaviour and get away with it.

"He now has two Labour councillors who have been under investigation for up to nine months each – Cllr Aaron Kiely for cynical abuse of public office and Cllr Baldwin for possible benefit fraud.

“One investigation has proved a complete sham and the other he will barely admit even exists.

“Since becoming Conservative leader I have, on several occasions, found myself in the position of dealing with serious allegations against councillors. In each case the matter was investigated quickly.

“By contrast it seems Cllr Kent is hoping if he drags things out for long enough people will forget.

“I can assure him that isn’t going to happen.”

Comments (3)

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3:35pm Thu 27 Jun 13

Indred Cold says...

They should all be sacked
They should all be sacked Indred Cold

11:41pm Thu 27 Jun 13

WIFFEY says...

Comrade Kent should resign now!
I have just looked on the Thurrock Council Web Site about the Wheeled Bins Fiasco and cannot believe the amount of roads that are being missed daily, this is the forth week of the new collections and its just getting worse and worse now the Saga of the these two Councillors under investigation he should resign now with the Managment team that screwed up these
collection routes
,
Comrade Kent should resign now! I have just looked on the Thurrock Council Web Site about the Wheeled Bins Fiasco and cannot believe the amount of roads that are being missed daily, this is the forth week of the new collections and its just getting worse and worse now the Saga of the these two Councillors under investigation he should resign now with the Managment team that screwed up these collection routes , WIFFEY

7:24am Fri 28 Jun 13

ebagumtrebor says...

The Comrade is a Del boy shister. He's filling his pockets with the publics cash and appears to be deliberately holding up investigations which no member of the public would get away with. He and Thurrock Council should be investigated by the police.

He appears to be deliberately holding things up becasue he knows he won't be leader of the council next year or in charge of the education service or any of the other duties he's claiming a vast amount of our money for.

What a despicable set of double standards. But hey, he's a Labour politician and he cares about you, your family and your welfare.
The Comrade is a Del boy shister. He's filling his pockets with the publics cash and appears to be deliberately holding up investigations which no member of the public would get away with. He and Thurrock Council should be investigated by the police. He appears to be deliberately holding things up becasue he knows he won't be leader of the council next year or in charge of the education service or any of the other duties he's claiming a vast amount of our money for. What a despicable set of double standards. But hey, he's a Labour politician and he cares about you, your family and your welfare. ebagumtrebor

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