Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Conservative - Councillor in expenses inquiry

A DISGRACED councillor resigned yesterday after continuing to claim thousands of pounds of tax payers’ money despite not attending a meeting for over six months.

Cllr Steven Woolfe quit Conwy County Council after claiming an estimated £20,000 in allowances, despite not attending council since March.

Cllr Woolfe, a Conservative councillor for Colwyn Bay’s Rhiw ward, was last spotted at the community safety meeting on March 23. Last year he claimed over £13,000 of his allowance, and has continued to claim in the six and a half months since his last appearance at Bodlondeb.

But the 39-year-old sensationally quit yesterday after pressure from within the Tory camp. Conwy County Council was awaiting a written response to inquiries into his situation and said it would now carry out an investigation.

A spokeswoman commented: “By law, if a councillor doesn’t attend a relevant council meeting within a six-month period their seat is vacated and an election called to fill the vacancy.

“We are investigating these provisions, but no conclusion has been reached yet. The position is likely to be clarified early next week.”

Local Conservative leader Cllr Keith Toy admitted Cllr Woolfe had continued to claim his allowances, adding: “It’s not good enough and I think he’s let the people of Colwyn Bay down.”

The Manchester-born councillor won a by-election in March 2006 and pledged to help transform the Bay, which he claimed was perceived as dirty and unsafe.

Cllr Woolfe is a member of the council’s audit committee as well as the environmental and community wellbeing scrutiny committees.

Fellow Colwyn Bay member Bob Squire was furious that much needed funds had lined Cllr Woolfe’s pockets while other projects went without.

The money could have been used in the community, so much is required in that ward, there are lots of worthy causes,” he said. “There are an awful lot of problems and the money could be better spent.

The Weekly News was unable to contact Cllr Woolfe this week, but would welcome contact from him.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Err no..... Apology to Steven Woolfe