Baldwin investigation could take THREE YEARS

Clare Baldwin

Clare Baldwin

First published in News
Last updated

A COUNCILLOR under investigation for alleged benefit fraud heckled as questions about the probe came up at a full council meeting.

Cllr Clare Baldwin, who has been under investigation since October, shouted “isn’t this getting boring now” as the leader of the opposition asked about the investigation into her.

The council’s Labour leader then claimed it could take three years for the investigation into allegations against her to be completed, after citing a recently concluded case that started in 2010.

Mayor Tony Fish gave Cllr Baldwin a ticking off for interrupting as John Kent, the council leader, was asked by his counterpart, Phil Anderson, whether an investigation was being held into how information about the investigation was leaked in May.

Cllr Kent confirmed Cllr Baldwin had put a complaint into Thurrock Council’s information officer and the disclosure of her personal data was being looked into.

This drew criticism from Cllr Anderson that the Labour Party are “losing sight” of the original investigation and he sought assurance the same “speed and rigour” was being demonstrated in the investigation of alleged benefit fraud as it is to the leak.

Cllr Kent said: “After what looks like a blatant leak of confidential information, I can confirm that officers have, under the Data Protection Act, launched an investigation.

“We need to know just how that information got into the public domain. I’m sure Cllr Anderson will cooperate fully with that inquiry.”

On the investigation into allegations made against the Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park ward councillor, which already date back to October 2012, Cllr Kent said: “As for an investigation which may or may not be being carried out into a member of this authority, no member, no matter who they are, may interfere with that kind of independent investigation and the suggestion that I should is frankly appalling.

“These things can be hideously complex and will take as long as they take.”

Speaking after last Wednesday’s meeting, Cllr Phil Anderson said: “Cllr Kent has admitted the council managed to produce a report into how news of the investigation into Cllr Baldwin came out within a matter of weeks.

“Compare that to the investigation into the actual allegations of benefit fraud themselves. This has apparently been going on for at least 10 months, and has still not led to any action.

“When you have serious allegations against an elected councillor, delays like this are simply unacceptable.

“Yet again I am calling on Cllr Kent to join me in demanding this is all resolved as swiftly and openly as possible.”

Comments (6)

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1:23pm Wed 31 Jul 13

Bernard 87 says...

I do not think it is acceptable for the public to have to wait three years for the investigation to be completed. If Labour really cared about democracy they would have this councillor resign immediately, then once she has been found innocent she could always stand again.

How is Cllr Baldwin going to help her constiuents with queries on benefits and/or benefit entitlement with this hanging over her head. If I lived in Tilbury or Thurrock Park I certainly wouldn't seek her help on such issues.
I do not think it is acceptable for the public to have to wait three years for the investigation to be completed. If Labour really cared about democracy they would have this councillor resign immediately, then once she has been found innocent she could always stand again. How is Cllr Baldwin going to help her constiuents with queries on benefits and/or benefit entitlement with this hanging over her head. If I lived in Tilbury or Thurrock Park I certainly wouldn't seek her help on such issues. Bernard 87
  • Score: 4

2:29pm Wed 31 Jul 13

Paul_Grays says...

Disgusting,....these people have no expereince in running a business or any other form of investiagtion.
Disgusting,....these people have no expereince in running a business or any other form of investiagtion. Paul_Grays
  • Score: 4

2:59pm Wed 31 Jul 13

Indred Cold says...

Very very poor so much can be hidden / lost in three years
Very very poor so much can be hidden / lost in three years Indred Cold
  • Score: 1

5:41pm Wed 31 Jul 13

DannyButcher says...

This woman clearly thinks this whole debacle should be swept under the carpet. “isn’t this getting boring now” Until the results of whether she committed benefit fraud are investigated wholly, how can anyone have any trust in her actions to have our best interest at heart? In not confronting this head on, she appears to be yet another person who has forgotten that they were elected to serve the people, not themselves.

The way in which this has been dealt with by Kent is disgusting. He's doing the same with this as he did with Kiely, and it is unacceptable. In the name of keeping the majority we now have in Kent, a leader who clearly will not or cannot do his job and keep his councillors in line. It is time for him to do his job in a timely manner, or resign and leave it to someone who can.

I really do find it hard to find strong enough words to express how disgusting the lack of action in this case is. It is pretty sick considering that people caught for the same crimes that she is accused of, yet not in her position, would be looking at possible prison time.
This woman clearly thinks this whole debacle should be swept under the carpet. “isn’t this getting boring now” Until the results of whether she committed benefit fraud are investigated wholly, how can anyone have any trust in her actions to have our best interest at heart? In not confronting this head on, she appears to be yet another person who has forgotten that they were elected to serve the people, not themselves. The way in which this has been dealt with by Kent is disgusting. He's doing the same with this as he did with Kiely, and it is unacceptable. In the name of keeping the majority we now have in Kent, a leader who clearly will not or cannot do his job and keep his councillors in line. It is time for him to do his job in a timely manner, or resign and leave it to someone who can. I really do find it hard to find strong enough words to express how disgusting the lack of action in this case is. It is pretty sick considering that people caught for the same crimes that she is accused of, yet not in her position, would be looking at possible prison time. DannyButcher
  • Score: 10

10:34am Thu 1 Aug 13

ebagumtrebor says...

This council truly are a turd sandwich in a famine. You know you’re hungry but you just can’t stomach it. What a total stinker the comrade is. He oozes odiousness. He’ll have to be chiselled off the door frames to get him out, he so in love with his publicly funded life. Beats working for a living when you can just lie to the people that pay you and take your money home in the council wheelbarrow.

What a truly useless bunch of spivs. All on the take for doing nothing and safe in the knowledge that there’s nothing anyone can do to them apart from vote them out next year. But hey, this is Thurrock and they’d vote for count Dracula to run a haemophiliac’s hospital if he wore a Labour rosette. If you stand at the top of Orsett Hill you can see the stench rising from the council building roof
This council truly are a turd sandwich in a famine. You know you’re hungry but you just can’t stomach it. What a total stinker the comrade is. He oozes odiousness. He’ll have to be chiselled off the door frames to get him out, he so in love with his publicly funded life. Beats working for a living when you can just lie to the people that pay you and take your money home in the council wheelbarrow. What a truly useless bunch of spivs. All on the take for doing nothing and safe in the knowledge that there’s nothing anyone can do to them apart from vote them out next year. But hey, this is Thurrock and they’d vote for count Dracula to run a haemophiliac’s hospital if he wore a Labour rosette. If you stand at the top of Orsett Hill you can see the stench rising from the council building roof ebagumtrebor
  • Score: 5

11:02am Thu 1 Aug 13

Jb66 says...

Why aren't the police involved?
Why aren't the police involved? Jb66
  • Score: 7

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