January 31, 2007

BNP man keeps seat

Several Redditch councillors are unhappy the only BNP member will keep his seat, despite being found guilty of three counts of assault.

Winyates councillor David Enderby was convicted at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court last week and fined £100 for each offence. He denied the assaults, which took place at his mother-in-law's house during a birthday party in June.

A council spokesman said: "The case was personal and didn't involve his role as an elected council member. The sentence was not of an order to warrant disqualification. Equally, the Standards Board wouldn't regard this as a Code of Conduct matter. The Code covers members who misbehave when performing duties or who misuse their status while acting in a private capacity. We're not aware Councillor Enderby has done anything under these two categories."

Conservative group leader Carole Gandy said: "The rules state a councillor must receive a certain sentence or have committed the offences in his councillor capacity to be removed from the council. But because of the violent nature of these crimes, it can't help but reflect badly on the council. There's nothing we can do to change the rules so it's up to Winyates people to show their feelings when voting."

Liberal Democrat councillor Diane Thomas said: "I'm not happy about this at all. He will keep his position on the council despite being found guilty of violent offences. I hope the people of Winyates think very carefully before voting next."

Council Leader Phil Mould said he was "sad" Mr Enderby would continue as a councillor but rules had been followed and councillors had to accept it.

Mr Enderby said: "This was a personal matter and nothing to do with my council position.
"I will not step down and will continue serving people in Winyates."

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