Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 15, 2016

Local Political Ethics And Local Conservative Associations

We know that the West Lancashire Conservative Association supports two and sometimes three-hatting by individual members of councils and associated public bodies where double and triple allowances, salaries to the public, are paid from taxes. These involved borough plus county plus connected bodies such as fire authority.

But seldom, in fact beyond the memory of long serving councillors and officers, has it been the case of a local political party giving individual approval to separate but multiple councillor seats between different boroughs. In April 2016 it came to the notice of some residents of Hesketh-with-Becconsall that a new candidate could be elected to share the ward duties with Cllr Ashcroft. That candidate was Paul Moon. It seems Paul Moon was already adept at the procedure of double candidature when in April 2015 he was nominated for the Broadfield Ward in South Ribble Borough Council pollmoon1-001 [click to read] while living in his stated home at 10 Matterdale Road in Leyland, and on the same day he was nominated for the Preesall Ward in Wyre Borough Council pollmoon2-001  [click to read] while living in his stated home at 314 Park Lane Preesall. Perhaps this was a trial run for wherever and whoever would accept his bid for double allowances for one shared job. Indeed it brings a new concept to local political job sharing.

In his statement to the Visiter Moon declares he “works in order with both the council and the conservative leadership”. Which council, which conservative leadership?It is surely incumbent on the Conservative Party to clarify precisely what support Moon has. Its leadership is weak and inept, heading for oblivion. What is the “legal frame work surrounding the position [that] was checked prior to the election”? Is it the case that “the CEO and legal department at Wyre, the Conservative Association and the Chief Executive of West Lancashire all said the circumstances although unusual they are in order I haven’t heard anyone complain or question the legality of the situation and is it not very similar to a councillor being both borough and county”.

In the most recent correspondence Councillor Owens addressed the Conservative member’s attendance at council meetings and called for his immediate resignation as a result. “It appears clear from your attendance records at both councils, that you are struggling and unable to devote the necessary attention to complete both roles fully. In all the circumstances, I repeat that the only honourable course of action in the circumstances is for you to resign as a member of West Lancashire Borough Council with immediate effect”.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Paul Moon stated that although his position on two councils was unusual, he would not be resigning from the council. He said: “My position on the Wyre and West Lancashire Borough Council is perfectly legal and I work in order with both the council and the conservative leadership. I have given a lot of my life to public service and will not be resigning from my seat. It’s not going to happen”.

Cllr Moon currently receives an allowance from both borough councils that totals just over £9,000 for the year. Our West Lancashire do not believe Cllr Moon should be receiving the full amount due to his attendance at council meetings.

In his most recent email this morning Cllr Owens said “I am writing to ask you to confirm whether or not you are currently receiving the full councillor allowance from both Wyre and from West Lancashire and I look forward to your response to this specific point “. Councillor Moon commented how he has never received any comments before about his position on both councils and councillors at Wyre Borough Council have no issue with the arrangement.

Moon is a member of the Standards Committee at Wyre Borough. It is reported in the Lancashire Evening Post dated 1 December 2016 that “a case involving several feuding members of the Preesall Town Council, described as dysfunctional, a list of councillor versus councillor complaints included a claim of “misogynistic behaviour. At the Wyre Standards Committee Cllr Moon queried the meaning of “misogynistic” and how to pronounce it”. [Source publication LEP Dysfunctional Council Under spotlight].


Responses

  1. Am I missing something? How can Moon claim to be living at 2 different addresses at the same time?

    • Well, since you ask, Moon stated “At the last election for Wyre I was resident there in my house on Park Lane. Since then I have moved to Hesketh Bank which has allowed me to apply for the council at West Lancashire. I also have a property in Preesall which I rent out from which I supplement my pension as a retired firefighter”. From public records Councillor Moon is associated with 5 properties being 42 Grasmere Road, Knott End, FY6 0DW as published by the Wyre Council; 314 Park Lane, Preesall, FY6 0LU as published by Wyre Council; 10 Matterdale Road, Leyland, PR25 3BA, as declared by Paul Moon being a person nominated by the Conservative Party for the South Ribble Broadfield Ward in April 2015; 3 The Brow, Hesketh Bank, declared by West Lancashire Borough Council; and 4 Unsworth Avenue, Preesall, Poulton-Le-Fylde FY6 0EQ rented as per the Electoral Roll 2014-15. NB It is a legal requirement that “You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election” and “You have lived in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election”.

  2. “Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott

    • It is so, a tangled web, woven for deceit of the public. But that quote is from a romantic poem, and where is there anything romantic in the antics included in this sordid episode as practiced by the two Tory Associations?

  3. Do local Conservatives do no due diligence on potential candidates?

    • It seems not. But then they are scraping the barrel and even now still haven’t named a candidate for the forthcoming LCC election seat of Skelmersdale West. Step forward Eddy McCarthy again? Or Bill Weingart?


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