Cllr David Gough Credit Shiptonthrope Parish Council.

At the last monthly meeting of the Shiptonthorpe Parish Council in December Cllr David Gough was busy submitting proposals and requesting votes relating to events that took took place almost a year ago.

His first motion that Shiptonthorpe Parish Council will not engage with, or support, or enter into or tolerate Non- Disclosure Agreements. (He claims to have discovered that the previous chair and clerk signed an NDA but has not provided any evidence). His motion failed with only himself and local farmer Richard Waring voting in favour.

After going through the routine items, the public were asked to leave given the confidential nature of the matters to be discussed. It is not clear why it was necessary to discuss the following issues without public scrutiny given that the response from the ICO is available to anyone who asks for it.

As reported previously, the council referred itself to the Information Commissioners office hoping to prove that the previous councillors and clerk had not been compliant with the law. The complaint was rejected with the ICO responding “We have considered the information you have provided, and we have determined that no further action by the ICO is necessary on this occasion”. Cllr David Gough was not happy with the response and proposed that the council should ask the ICO to re-open the case. There was no seconder for the proposal, so this was not passed and duly rejected.

The final proposal from Cllr David Gough was to have the laptop used by the last permanent clerk forensically examined by an independent specialist company. (a basic forensic examination could cost at least £1,275) The proposed motion was not accepted with only Cllr Gough and Richard Waring voting in support.

It feels as if Cllr Gough is incapable of moving forward and remains focussed on trying to find evidence to support his claims about the previous council wasting money, planning to increase the village hall rent, destroying data, introducing unreasonable conditions in the lease and being secretive. The last claim is somewhat hypocritical when you consider that the current council will ask the public to leave when they are discussing anything which might show them in a bad light. As he becomes more isolated it might only be a matter of time before Cllr Gough begins to turn on existing councillors.

It also worth remembering that Cllr Gough is under investigation by the ERYC Standards officer and there is also a complaint into the ICO about the council’s failure to respond to FOI requests.

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