Time for openness and truth.

How many of you noticed the article "Conduct complaints ‘were not malicious’" tucked away on page 6 of yesterday’s edition of the Leatherhead Advertiser?

According to the article, MVDC stated that: "the independent report into the complaints made against Councillor Rosemary Dickson does not say that those allegations were malicious – this is the view of the Conservative Association as set out in a press release issued by them."

It is also, in fact, misleading to say that the independent report clears Cllr Dickson of all allegations; it does not and, given the limitations of the inquiry, it could not. As "Civic Trust member" wrote on this Blog on the 22nd November: "The report does not clear Cllr Dickson of the seven complaints; it merely states the legal officer did not find clear evidence that Cllr Dickson had contravened the MVDC Code of Conduct."

According to the Advertiser article, "Mole Valley Conservative Association political agent Andrew Barrand conceded that the release may have been misleading."

Sorry, Mr Barrand, it was misleading. The repetition of this misleading statement in the recent edition of the so-called Cherkley Express, together with a photograpoh of the councillor concerned, can only make one wonder how closely the Conservative Association is involved with Cratus. Maybe I am reading more into things than I should. But I wonder.

Mr Barrand is quoted as saying: "It sounded, to people looking at it, that the complainants were being vindictive when that wasn’t the case. It was us saying it, not the council or the report."

I do not know all the complainants, but I do know some. In every case that I know of, the complaints were not made for any personal reasons, but on a point of principle because the complainant felt the democratic process had been subverted.

Personally, I feel it is very regrettable that things have become personalized; and in view of Mr Barrand’s statement above, I have to ask where the personalization has come from. It is my own view that certain parties are intent upon personalizing the issue both in order to discredit those who have valid misgivings about the Longshot application and to deflect attention from the shortcomings, that some perceive, in the way the application was eventually approved. In other words, it is my view that personalization has been an effort to descredit those concerned with the proper working of democracy.

Why am I writing this? Though not a complainant, I was asked by the independent investigator to give evidence. I did so in good faith and told the truth as I perceived it. Yet I have it on very good authority that in the independent report Cllr Dickson implies that I and another fabricated evidence and lied.

In view of Cllr Dickson’s misleading statement about the report, first given in the Advertiser and repeated in the Cherkley Express, she has forfeited the protection of confidentiality. For the sake of openness and transparancy, I urge that the report be put into the public domain so that people can judge for themselves whether the claims – still being perpetuated, it seems, by the "Conservative Association" -are valid or not. I have nothing to hide.

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