March 20, 2009
Four more Labour councillors in Stoke-on-Trent have been pulled in for questioning by police as part of an ongoing corruption scandal in that city.
The move follows the arrest of Labour elected Mayor Mark Meredith on March 6 on suspicion of misconduct in public office and complicity in corruption in public office.
He was arrested exactly a week after Conservative councillor Roger Ibbs was arrested on suspicion of corruption in public office. Both men have since been bailed until June, pending further enquiries.
The councillors who were spoken to are understood to have been questioned about the council’s attempts to shut the splash pool at Dimensions Leisure Centre, in Burslem, last year.
The Labour Party announced last week that it was postponing its annual general meeting, and the election of the group’s leader, because of the ongoing corruption inquiry.
The case stems from a report which was drawn up by the director of the Dimensions Leisure centre which recommended that it be closed down because it was poorly attended and in need of extensive repairs.
BNP councillors, who knew otherwise, objected to the report, and a subsequent investigation revealed that the manager of the centre had been pressured into making the false report by the Labour Party councillors.
A new report was drawn up, with completely the opposite conclusions - resulting in an investigation as to why the Labour councillors had wanted the centre closed down.
It has now transpired that they had some type of relationship with a local Muslim businessman who wanted to purchase the site and develop it into what was apparently going to be a Muslim centre.
It is not known what, if any, kickback was involved to the local Labour Party - but the police arrests indicate that there must have been.
All of these events have boosted the BNP’s chances of getting Councillor Alby Walker elected as council leader, as voters express their disgust at the corrupt charade which marks both Tories and Labour in Stoke.
Click to view image: 'Syoke on Trent'
Tags: labour, stoke, trent, scandle, corruption, council,
Location: Stafford, Staffordshire, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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