I have learnt that the LABOUR Cllrs below did not register free gifts/ hospitality. Earlier this year all Cllrs where asked if they wanted two free tickets for the Wigan Jazz Festival, via their Cllrs email account. This is not uncommon. As I am a keen jazz fan I took up the offer, like the Labour Cllrs. However, when I registered my interest with the Council, I noticed that the Labour Cllrs below that also took up this offer did not register the gift/ hospitality.
I reported them to the Council for failing to register their interest and therefore broke the Council's Code of Conduct. The Council have come back with some crazy excuse saying that it is a personal gift and not made to a Cllr. I strongly disagree as this offer was made to Cllrs email address's and they responded via their Cllrs email and therefore they were under the Cllrs rules. The Council claim that Cllrs only have to register gifts that a rise from Council meeting.
Have you heard anything so mad? So if a Cllr was going to get a back handed under the rules that the Council are saying, as long as it is not done in a meeting then they don't have to register the gift/ hospitality - which surely can't be right. The whole purpose of a register of gifts/ hospitality is to be open and transparent.
They now say that they intend to change the rules so Cllrs have to register gifts any time now. They say they are doing this because I have raised this. The rules have already there - it is called the law!
One of the real main worries is if these Cllrs haven't registered 2 tickets of £32 in total, then what other higher value gifts have they not registered as they believe they have received them as "personal gifts"?
I believe that this is also a criminal offence and will consider whether to report it now to the police.
I wonder if it is because they are Labour Cllrs and that's why the Council are not investigating?
The LABOUR Cllrs who failed to register their gifts are:-