Spineless councillors also have to speak out against this injustice
By Ian Ellis
What is happening in our [local] authority should be laughed off – but it’s very serious and can’t be taken lightly.
The people’s councillor, Jim Bollan has been reported to the Standards Commission on 18 counts, yes 18 charges for doing his job.
Jim and ex councillor George Marshall Black brought to light some very dubious goings on in our authority and our Chief Executive Joyce White tried to cover it up. That was her first mistake because anyone who knows these men they are like dogs with bones and won’t let go.
Fast forward too many years and even more evidence comes to light with bigger implications. We now only have Jim fighting our corner and as he pursues justice.
At a council meeting we were surprised that all councillors actually supported him and made The Chief Executive supply her report. What we didn’t expect was over 80 pages of blackness. Again he was supported to get another less redacted copy, don’t know why they bothered as it has become totally obvious who runs this authority and isn’t accountable to anyone, as she released virtually the same document.
If her officers hadn’t been doing anything wrong in awarding “contracts” in the loosest terms as who knows if contracts were even exchanged. Not to mention working out with their remit by awarding work over their price limit. All this done under the watchful eye of Joyce White. Yet this is all okay and no reprimands handed out.
Yet Jim Bollan doing his job, by holding officers to account gets 18 charges against him.
Where are all the other fly by night councillors now, probably seeking refuge back in their secret bunker, which by now must have had an extension built to fit them all in. They should all be holding their heads in shame, stand up and stop being puppets to Joyce White, take back control of our authority and earn your salary and maybe gain some respect from your constituents.
So Jim has a hearing and hopefully part of his defence will be the full un-redacted report in the public domain which will allow us all to see what has being going on.
When Jim is proven correct in what he has been saying and we see what our Chief Executive Joyce White has been trying to cover up, then she needs to do the right thing and resign. If not then the spineless councillors have to raise a vote of no confidence in her or the people of West-Dunbartonshire will.
We all need to get behind Jim and make sure he is still able to continue all his Council work.
Meanwhile, the Community Party, which Jim Bollan represents on the Council, has issued the following statement in support of their councillor:
The Community Party wish to make a statement that we strongly disagree that Councillor Bollan has committed any breach of the Scottish Government Revised Councillors’ Code of Conduct (2018), in relation to the recent WDC procurement investigation. Councillor Bollan has at all times demonstrated a high personal standard of correct moral behaviour, and as an elected representative of the local community he has consistently and conscientiously adhered to the following General
Principles of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct:
- Accountability & Stewardship
As a servant of the public, Councillors have a duty to ensure that the Council fulfils its commitment to being open, transparent and demonstrates probity in their decision making processes, solely in terms of the public interest, and ensure that its’ publicly funded resources are used prudently and within the law. Prior to WDC’s investigation Councillor Bollan had received information on certain procurement practices which he believed posed a significant financial risk to WDC, not to mention the potential for immeasurable reputational damage, and he reacted according to the General Principles of the Councillors Code of Conduct by alerting senior officers of WDC.
There followed an internal Audit and external Audit Scotland investigation which highlighted serious breaches of WDC’s own Policies and Procedures. Despite deliberate attempts to withhold requested vital information, Councillor Bollan’s diligence and tenacity, supported by all peer Councillors, ensured that the following conclusions from internal Audit, and risks to WDC as identified by Audit Scotland, were made public:
Internal Audit Conclusion
The allegations of receiving hospitality were not proven
Personal relationships were not declared
Procurement policies and procedures were regularly circumnavigated
There was a systematic failure to follow appropriate policies and procedures
The procurement policies in places across the council were sufficient
Internal audit reported that the lack of adherence to procurement policies and procedures has led to an increased risk in the following areas:
Increased opportunity for fraud and corruption including bribery and falsification of invoices
Negative impact on reputation in the marketplace