Saturday, 23 April 2011

Forging Signatures

Someone has been forging Councillors' signatures. An unknown Councillor/s has forged the signatures of three Planning Committee Members on the register of attendance. Two out of the three Councillors claimed to have been 'shocked' that someone else had signed them in and claimed that they had been present at the meeting.
The Council, in it's response to a FoI request by the Carmarthen Journal alleges that this was the only instance over the past couple of years that had been discovered or, er...noticed.
Of course one wouldn't like to speculate as to how many times this may have happened, whether this is common practice and if there have been any fraudulent expenses claims from Councillors who were not even at meetings....surely not?
Of course, we'll never know, as typically the seriousness of this matter has been downplayed by Council bosses who felt it was unlikely the guilty party, or parties, would come forward and further investigation was unnecessary.
I should imagine that in other walks of life clocking-in for others would be a sackable offence.
No wonder they don't want anyone filming the meetings. 


Crac said...

As you say, the most likely reason for doing this would be an expenses fiddle. At any event, it is hard to think of any innocent reason for forging someone else's signature on a council committee. Let us hope that the police step in and investigate what would certainly seem to be a criminal offence.

Just as a reminder - the Planning Committee has immense power over the lives of those who come before it. Its decisions can make or break the dreams of ordinary people, and the same applies to businesses. It is therefore essential that members of the committee take their tasks seriously and are in all respects beyond reproach.

This news shows that some at least of the committee cannot be trusted at even the most basic level.

Mark James seems to be increasingly under the impression that he has judicial powers and can decide whether or not criminal activity should be investigated. He does not, and should call in the police forthwith. By not taking the matter further, he will contribute to the further undermining of public confidence in the council and leave the councillors involved open to blackmail - a serious possibility when you remember what they are responsible for.

caebrwyn said...

I agree, if this happened anywhere else this would have been classed as possible fraud and would have been reported to the police immediately.
There is another theory which has been suggested which is that at least two out of the three Councillors have been vocally critical of the Mark James/Meryl Gravell regime and frequently challenge the line spun out by the Head of Planning, Eifion Bowen. Surely this wasn't an attempt to discredit and silence the voice of the 'awkward squad' was it?

Anonymous said...

This authority under Mark James's rule has a reputation even Gadaffi would be ashamed of. Does Mark James ever investigate complaints made against officers within the inner circle?? Indeed not! He likes things exactly the way they are. No questioning, no answers need be given!! Things work just fine for dear old Mark.