Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 23, 2018

Moon Objects To The Costs Of “Petty Complaints”

Back in his favourite domain, Wyre Cllr Paul Moon has hit out at the cost of “petty complaints” after an investigation into a complaint against him has come to an end with no further action to be taken .

Two (unnamed) borough councillors complained last year that Cllr Paul Moon had failed “to properly register his pecuniary interests”. Wyre’s Monitoring officer Mrs Liesl Hadgraft and an “independent person” have probed the complaint. A report to Thursday’s meeting of Wyre Council’s standards committee says “No breach of the code of conduct [has been] found”. The two complainants asked more questions about the matter, and their questions were answered by Liesl Hadgraft.

The progress/outcome of the complaint report says “No further action to be taken”. Details of the complaint against Cllr Moon first became ‘public’ last year when he was vice-chairman of Wyre standards committee, which on November 16 was given a list of the then current complaints.

The case involving him, as with all other complaints listed, was identified via a reference number. However, at that meeting Cllr Moon, according to the minutes “declared a significant non-pecuniary interest” in the relevant agenda item “because he had been informed that he was the subject member in complaint Ref: 2017/06”. He also said he would withdraw from the meeting if the complaint was discussed in any detail.

Approached about the “No further action to be taken” finding of the monitoring officer’s report, Moon said “The complaint has been dealt with as far as I know”. He added he was not sure who had made the complaint “as nobody has spoken to me about any of their concerns” and “These petty complaints cost a great deal of money and perhaps it’s time that this was highlighted”.

Moon, who until recently had controversially been a member of both Wyre Council and West Lancashire District Council, confirmed he had recently resigned from his West Lancashire Council seat, adding “this was due to a private and personal reason which will remain private”. Moon, a Conservative, is the current chairman of Wyre’s planning committee.

Wyre social media comments suggest Moon “seems to be of the deluded belief the legal obligation to correctly register a Cllr’s Pecuniary Interests should 1) Be brought up directly with him first 2) Any complaint against his legal obligation is ‘petty’ & 3) It is a ‘waste of money’. Some advice for Liesl, Wyre and Moon 1) If Pecuniary Interests can be deemed incorrect by members of the public, why can’t you pick up on it when it is your role Liesl? Why haven’t Wyre the sense to check what Liesl doesn’t do (note our November meeting where 1 out of 3 Pecuniary Interests on the register were incorrect & pointed out to be to Garry Payne)? Why can’t you get your Pecuniary Interests correct in the first place to stop wasting public money yourself Moon 2) What is ‘petty’ about fulfilling your legal obligation Moon? 3) ‘Waste of money’ & Paul Moon indeed! I’m also disappointed Wyre published this statement Moon’s despicable viewpoint just highlights how stinky the attitude is towards the public along with how their self policing is to independence what bacon is to vegans”.

Mrs Hadgraft seems to have difficulties with unruly councillors. As published in the Garstang Courier in 2016 “Preesall Town Council, several of whose feuding members were cleared of breaking standards rules following an inquiry, has been criticised as “dysfunctional.” A raft of allegations had been made by various councillors against some of their colleagues including lying at a council meeting, misogynistic behaviour [The list of councillor versus councillor complaints included a claim of “misogynistic behaviour.” At the Wyre Standards committee Coun Moon queried the meaning of “misogynistic” and how to pronounce it], harassment and bullying, making unfounded accusations, and making sarcastic and unwarranted comments. 

“Even though most allegations have been thrown out, Wyre Council’s standards monitoring officer Mrs Liesl Hadgraft labelled them “tit for tat complaints. Mrs Hadgraft told Wyre Council Standards committee she had met town council members last month to “get the council working together in a more productive way for the good of the community it served.The minutes of the Standards committee state “There had been some fall-out following the meeting [with Preesall Council] which suggested that some of the councillors did not see anything wrong with their behaviour and had no intention of changing. The cost to Wyre Council taxpayers for the standards investigation was thought to be about £3,000”.

NB Today, 23 June 2018, South Ribble Conservative Association still claims Moon to be the West Lancs Borough Ward Councillor for Hesketh with Becconsall. 

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