Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Suffolk: UKIP councillors facing double-vote investigation

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 February 2014

UKIP councillor Bert Poole.

UKIP councillor Bert Poole.

Archant

Two UKIP Suffolk county councillors are set to be investigated after a voting irregularity in the authority’s vital budget debate on Thursday.

Brandon councillor Reg Silvester was at his first full council meeting for several months after suffering a serious illness – but had to leave early before the final vote was taken.

His party colleague Bert Poole, from Oulton, near Lowestoft, used his voting card to register his support for the Conservative administration’s budget.

The move was spotted by Liberal Democrat group leader David Wood.

Mr Poole admitted the double vote and the vote was retaken. The budget was passed by 45 votes to 20 with one abstention.

Now there is set to be a full inquiry which could result in sanctions being taken against Mr Poole and Mr Silvester.

In 2009, former Labour council leader Jane Hore was disqualified from sitting as a councillor for a year after she was found to have used a colleague’s voting card after he had left a meeting. She had already left the council.

Council leader Mark Bee and Labour group deputy leader Bryony Rudkin have lodged formal complaints about the voting with the monitoring officer. The case is now set to be investigated by the monitoring officer from another authority.

Mr Wood said he drew the attention of the chairman to what had happened to ensure the vote could be retaken.

He said: “I didn’t name the councillor involved. I hoped he would admit what he had done, which he did. We had to have another vote because the first one would have been null and void and technically the council could have ended up without a budget.”

Mrs Rudkin said she had lodged the complaint because she felt it was important that it was fully investigated.

Both Mr Poole and Mr Silvester were first elected to the authority in May last year, and some councillors feel the incident simply showed a level of naivety.

Mr Silvester said the UKIP group as a whole supported the budget, and he felt the administration had done a good job.

He had voted to oppose a Labour amendment that would have reduced the level of the council’s reserve, but had to leave before the second vote was taken.

He said: “I don’t know about this problem. They (the monitoring officers) will have to do what they have to do.”

UKIP group leader Bill Mountford said Mr Poole had been advised by the monitoring officer not to say anything about the incident until the investigation had been concluded.

He said: “I tried to stop him voting a second time, so did the chap sitting next to him. It was a serious error of judgment on Bert’s part – we had all discussed the budget before the meeting and were all in agreement on how to vote.”

A police helicopter has joined the search for a 55-year-old missing man from Ipswich.

Six Ipswich drug dealers have been given prison sentences totalling 19 years following a police operation targeting the supply of heroin in the town.

A Suffolk-based charity has broken the world record for the longest fashion show – raising £24,000 for its work in the process.

A Suffolk vicar is speaking out about the sexual abuse he suffered as a young man – a secret he has kept for almost 40 years – in a bid to stop women suffering at the hands of men.

Police chiefs in Suffolk and north Essex are to review their financial situations as fellow East Anglian force Norfolk announces the biggest shake-up in its history.

Fans have a big role to play in the “massive” East Anglian derby this weekend – and must cheer on the Blues all the way to victory.

The Government is to contribute nearly £13m towards the cost of three new road schemes in Suffolk and Essex.

Parents using “free” childcare at some Suffolk providers feel they have to pay top-up fees because the funding from government and the county council is inadequate.

Three nationally-acclaimed poets will be taking to the stage at the Seckford Theatre in Woodbridge to inspire the next generation of Suffolk’s young writers.

Police are appealing for witnesses following an early morning burglary in Ipswich where a laptop, cigarettes, food and drink were stolen.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24