Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting MG NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Councillor faces standards hearing
11:07am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
THE recycling row in Malvern has landed one of the most outspoken critics of wheelie bins in hot water.
Town councillor Mike Charles faces being hauled before the standards watchdog after being accused of rubbishing Malvern Hills District Council officer Ivor Pumfrey at a public meeting.
Mr Pumfrey, whose head of community services role includes responsibility for rubbish and recycling, believes Coun Charles “failed to treat him with respect by making false and unfounded allegations”against him.
He took exception to comments accusing officers of being “a little lacking” in transparency and councillors had been“hoodwinked byuntrue facts”.
Coun Charles spoke of the council being fooled by “manipulative officers”.
He referred to Mr Pumfrey by name before opposition leader Coun Tom Wells told him to “play the ball, not the man”.
Monitoring officer John Williams has written to Coun Charles advising him: “The complainant has indicated to me if you were to issue a public apology and formally retract your comments he would consider that to be a suitable resolution.”
But Coun Charles told your Malvern Gazette he would do no such thing and maintains that his representations at the council meeting were made as a member of the public.
“My initial response to it is ‘get stuffed’,” he said. “I feel they are looking to punish me for questioning what is a very major decision for the town.
“I am not retracting anything I mentioned.”
If Coun Charles does not apologise, an investigation will be launched that is likely to end with a standards committee hearing.
This is not the first time that Mr Pumfrey has taken action against a councillor over the controversial issueof wheeliebins.
Last November former district council chairman Mike Soley appeared before the committee accused of impugning Mr Pumfrey’s professionalism and integrity by suggesting he favoured wheelie bins.
The watchdog decided there had been no breach.
If the complaint is upheld, the standards committee will write to the council with its recommendations. These could include training, the demand of an apology or formal censure.
Malvern Hills District Council wound not comment on the investigation.