Swanley Town councillors court controversy once again in Labour row

News Shopper: Councillor Robert Woodbridge Councillor Robert Woodbridge

SWANLEY Town Council is once again being dogged by controversy after a councillor was chucked out of his local party over claims he passed on confidential information.

Former deputy leader Councillor Robert Woodbridge has had the whip withdrawn and been told he can no longer be a Labour councillor.

Councillor Mark Fittock claims he passed on confidential information to a Conservative councillor, an allegation Cllr Woodbridge strongly denies.

He told News Shopper the way he has been treated by Swanley Town Council Labour Group breaches the Human Rights Act.

He said: ""I have had to make formal complaint to the Secretary of the Sevenoaks Constituency Labour Party concerning Cllr Fittock and the way he has treated me.

"I just want a chance to state my case fairly - you wouldn't treat a bank robber in a court of law like this.

"I have also complained to various people in the party to say my case has been discussed at all levels which means they will be prejudiced against me and I can’t be ‘tried’ fairly. I even wrote to Ed Miliband but haven’t heard back.

"I’ve been a Labour Party member since 1995."

Councillor Mark Fittock told News Shopper: "I have no comment to make on this subject other than there is a robust complaints procedure in place and I would encourage anyone to follow this process."

Swanley Town Council’s chequered history

May 2008: Then deputy leader Councillor Woodbridge calls police and alleges Hextable parish Councillor Deidre Morris threatened to hit him with a gavel following the meeting. Police did not pursue the matter.

September 2010: Labour Councillor Ian Rashbrook is accused of assaulting Tory Cllr Tony Henley at a meeting by poking him in the neck.

October 2011: Ex-mayor Janet Sargeant is asked to hand in her mayor and consort badges after Cllr Searles accused her of "impersonating the mayor" at public events. Cllr Sargeant denied the claims.

February 2012: Then Labour candidate Robert Woodbridge narrowly secures the White Oak ward seat, beating Tory opponent Nicola Hill who had been fired in November for not attending a council meeting in six months.

Comments (8)

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11:02pm Fri 31 Jan 14

cherished says...

Good luck in getting this heard fairly. (On the other hand, there are councillors who abuse their position but I like to believe in karma)
Good luck in getting this heard fairly. (On the other hand, there are councillors who abuse their position but I like to believe in karma) cherished

7:45am Sat 1 Feb 14

Virtual-Monster says...

When reading this article, the only thing that came to mind was that these individuals seem to be acting like a bunch of 5 year olds.

What a great example of democracy at work eh?
When reading this article, the only thing that came to mind was that these individuals seem to be acting like a bunch of 5 year olds. What a great example of democracy at work eh? Virtual-Monster

10:16am Sat 1 Feb 14

Mangetout says...

What a shambles.
What are the 'Human rights' issues here. ?? The right to behave like idiots when in a responsible position of making decisions on behalf of the Swanley electorate.
They all need their heads knocking together.
What a shambles. What are the 'Human rights' issues here. ?? The right to behave like idiots when in a responsible position of making decisions on behalf of the Swanley electorate. They all need their heads knocking together. Mangetout

12:05pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Gypo.Joe says...

It's Swanley !!

They are about 100 years behind with the evolutionary process out there. Remember they elected Paul Golding from the BNP in 2009.

LOL
It's Swanley !! They are about 100 years behind with the evolutionary process out there. Remember they elected Paul Golding from the BNP in 2009. LOL Gypo.Joe

1:14pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Factman says...

Fortunately these people no longer control the Council which has a Conservative majority.
Fortunately these people no longer control the Council which has a Conservative majority. Factman

4:55pm Sat 1 Feb 14

rojo174 says...

You've got to be a slimeball to get to be a councillor
You've got to be a slimeball to get to be a councillor rojo174

6:27pm Sat 1 Feb 14

cherished says...

Factman wrote:
Fortunately these people no longer control the Council which has a Conservative majority.
Hopefully not after the next election!!
[quote][p][bold]Factman[/bold] wrote: Fortunately these people no longer control the Council which has a Conservative majority.[/p][/quote]Hopefully not after the next election!! cherished

6:29pm Sat 1 Feb 14

cherished says...

rojo174 wrote:
You've got to be a slimeball to get to be a councillor
Sounds like we know the same ones!! Lol
[quote][p][bold]rojo174[/bold] wrote: You've got to be a slimeball to get to be a councillor[/p][/quote]Sounds like we know the same ones!! Lol cherished

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