CHIEF EXECUTIVE JOYCE WHITE SHOULD RESIGN, SAYS CLLR JIM BOLLAN

 

Jim Bollan outside the Council offices in the old Burgh Hall in Church Street, Dumbarton. Banned for two meetings.

By Bill Heaney

Councillor Jim Bollan was jubilant when he walked out of Dumbarton Municipal Buildings yesterday after receiving no more than a slap on the wrist from the Standards Commission on Public Life.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s £130,000 a year Chief Executive Joyce White’s outstanding complaints against him  – only two out of a remarkable 37  allegations of breach of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct – were upheld after a six hour hearing behind closed doors.

Council officials were in the foyer at the foot of the stairs waiting to tell the press and public they were banned from attending  the hearing due to restrictions imposed in the wake of new Covid-19 guidelines.

No effort appears to have been made to re-arrange the seating in order to accommodate even a small number of members of the public or reporters from the local press at a hearing which was supposed to be held in public, showing scant regard for the democratic process

Thirty five of the complaints against Cllr Bollan were thrown out earlier by the Commissioners, whose view of the seriousness of the two held against him breaches were reflected in the sanctions they imposed on him.

Cllr Bollan was banned from attending the next two council meetings.

He said later: “The sanction of being banned for the next two council meetings will be worn as a badge of honour.”

Cllr Bollan added: “Mrs White,  the CEO of WDC, needs to consider her position. Her flawed professional judgement in allowing the clear breaches of the Council’s Standing Orders, is serious misconduct.

“Audit Scotland confirmed the Senior Management Team, which includes Mrs White, knew for years that the  Council Procurement Policies were being breached.

“Mrs White’s personal attack on me as a Community Party opposition councillor by claiming I breached the Councillor’s Code of Conduct 37 times has also been shown up to be an attempt to deflect and cover up her own guilt.

“The Ethical Standards Commissioner found me not guilty on 35 of those 37 allegations

“Being found guilty today on the two remaining charges will not diminish my efforts to represent my constituents and expose corruption whenever that arises.

“The sanction of being banned for the next two council meetings will be worn as a badge of honour.”

Cllr Bollan, who is the longest serving local authority member past and present, added: “Mrs White’s approval of the systematic, serious breaches of Council Standing Orders, which cost WDC an incalculable amount of money, according to Audit Scotland, should not be forgotten.

“She needs to be held to account for the active part she played in allowing these serious breaches of Council Policy.

“As an opposition councillor, I have a clear duty under the Councillor’s Code of Conduct to scrutinise and hold the Council Executive to account.

“That is what I tried to do. Had I not, I feel I would also have been complicit in condoning corruption, dishonesty by public officials.”

Black and White – Ex-Cllr George Black and Chief Executive Joyce White.

Cllr Bollan added: “Former councillor George Black and I became the whistle blowers’ voice regarding this corruption case.

“Mrs White tried to deflect from her own complicity and turn me into the accused, for trying to speak truth to power on behalf of the people who elected me.”

Community Party campaigner, Louise Robertson, pictured below left, said: “This whole charade needs to be looked at in the wider context of the situation West Dunbartonshire finds itself.

“Both Labour and the SNP councillors have handed far too much decision making powers to the Chief Executive Officer Joyce White, who is accountable to no one.

“She sent 37 charges to the Standards Commission who threw out 35 of them pre trial. Charges which related to Jim Bollan and George Black exposing corruption and malpractice relating to the awarding of council contracts, all of which happened on Joyce White’s watch.

“And now the two charges Jim Bollan did face have resulted in him being banned from two council meetings!!! How much money time and effort was put into this spiteful farce, money that could have been better spent in many of our rundown services?

“Jim has had this hanging over him for since June 30, 2019, and now he basically gets a slap on the wrist to justify the time, money and energy wasted.

“Mrs. White has a lot to answer for – and should certainly be considering her position.

“On the other hand, The Community Party councillor Jim Bollan, will continue to speak up for ALL constituents of West Dunbartonshire and would like to take this opportunity to thank the very many people who sent him messages of support over the weekend.”

The Democrat was not allowed media accreditation by the Council after it covered extensively what had been going on during the alleged corruption when the procurement (of the council contracts) procedures were breached regularly until they were finally ignored altogether.

Editor Bill Heaney, who has won the award for Scotland’s Weekly Newspaper Journalist of the Year three times was told by Scottish Nationalists that The Democrat would not be recognised by the council or the SNP at every level of government until it joined IPSO, the English successor to the failed Press Council.

He said: “Despite the fact that I had worked in newspaper from delivery boy in Dumbarton to copy boy at the Scottish Daily Express to reporter and editor of various prestigious publications, including the Lennox Herald and Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter,  which I edited at 21 years of age, the Council refused to place me on the media list or invite me to cover events, which would be normal custom and practice.

“The leader of the Council SNP group, the eccentric Cllr McColl, then sent round a memo containing malicious and untrue allegations that I was a misogynist and had assaulted two women.

“I have never had an apology for this from the Council or its leader for these scurrilous allegations against me, or from the SNP politicians who supported this smear campaign.

“I am proud to have assisted Cllr Bollan to expose the lush, inappropriate lifestyle of officials at what they themselves viewed as a time of austerity when contracts worth £millions were being handed out by the Council without any procurement rules being followed.

“It is high time Cllr Bollan was shown even a modicum of respect by officials such as Ms White who , in association with Council leader Jonathan McColl, presides over her own pick and mix version of democracy in Dumbarton. Hell mend them for that.”

 

7 comments

  1. Thank Bill. Let it be known I am coming for the SNP with George Galloway and the Alliance4Unity. They have had 8 years to get their show on the road. It’s time up. Bring your claymore. It’s going to get heavy.

  2. Is that the George Galloway who in April 2014 said, “If you ever see me standing under a Union Jack shoulder-to-shoulder with a Conservative, please shoot me”?

    And is Alliance4Unity another of the irrelevant, soon to be forgotten parties that he has formed?

  3. I think on all assessments George Galloway is an utter self serving creep devoid of any moral fibre.

    An admitted philanderer he has flirted from wife to wife just like he has with political ideology. Political ideology that is in fact driven by whatever suits George to secure taxpayer paid wages.

    So when many years ago in the 90s when the Conservatives were elected George attended a Scotland United rally in George Square to declare ‘ Scotland United will never be defeated ‘

    Then in a later incarnation he headed south to garner the Asian ethnic vote for a heavily BAME constituency – developing even the stuttered nuanced English of the immigrant using English as their second language.

    And now, all socialism gone, he proclaims himself under the banner of the Tories, intent on maintaining Johnson, Cummings, and Gove rule. And of the impending destruction of the Scottish Parliament that Johnson and Cummings are currently putting into place. no doubt our Gorgeous will look forward to Direct Rule and a NHS privatisation deal with the USA.

    Fine wine, Cuban cigars, women, a lush on the public purse, I think, I have no doubt that this odious clown will be absolutely routed at the next election

  4. In relation to Joyce White and the trumped up charges against Councillor Bollan the similarity of the modus operandi to that used to try to stitch up Alex Salmond is uncanny.

    In the case of Salmond it is estimated that the witch hunt and failed court cases have cost the public purse to date of the order of £10 million pounds when the costs of civil servants, police, prosecutors, legal counsel and expenses are all added up.

    And of course that cost may rise by another £10m to £20m when Salmond sues for damages. But what’s public money.

    Joyce White and Lesley Evans are exactly the same type of people. As head of the Civil Service and intimately involved in the process of going for Salmond she now admits to Parliament she has no idea how much was spent of the Salmond fiasco.

    As head of the West Dunbartonshire Council, and a Council that had to admit that its financial controls over procurement were absolutely flawed I wonder how much money was spent trying to cover up the procurement fiasco and then spent on a vendetta against Councillor Bollan.

    Thirty seven charges was it against Bollan ultimately reduced to two. But like Lesley Evans ( protected by Sturgeon ) no doubt Joyce White is protected by McColl. And meanwhile the little people pay, and pay dearly.

    So question to Jackie. Can you enquire how much was spent on investigating allegations of procurement mis management ( euphemism) and how much was spent on preparing a case of 37 charges against Cllr Bollan.

    People have the right to know!

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