Saturday, 4 March 2017

Neil McEvoy suspended for one month by "Independent" panel.

There can be no denying Plaid AM and Cardiff Councillor Neil Mcevoy is a controversial and confrontational Politician but I wonder if the action taking against him by a disciplinary panel was little more than a politically motivated Kangaroo Court.

A panel have found that Mr McEvoy  was "bullying" towards a member of council staff.An independent panel  (This  open to question seeing who appointed them) heard evidence after it was alleged that Plaid Cymru Councillor Neil McEvoy, who is also an Assembly Member, had "threatened" the job security of a member of council staff after a court hearing..They found he had failed to show respect to a council employee and that his behaviour was bullying.They also said the councillor was "evasive" as he gave his evidence.

But did not accept an allegation that Coun McEvoy brought either the office of councillor or Cardiff council as a whole into disrepute.
Finance team member Deborah Carter had been at an eviction hearing at Cardiff's civil justice centre in July 2015.
In that, Amanda Williams - a constituent of Coun McEvoy - was told by a judge she was being evicted from her council home after accumulating £3,700 of arrears.
As Coun McEvoy, Miss Williams as well as Ms Carter and her council colleague Dale Skinner left the court room, he said:
 "I can't wait for May 2017 when the restructure of the council happens".
He admits both making the comments and taking a photograph within the court building - a criminal offence - but disputes the comments were made as a threat to Ms Carter. He said they were made to Ms Williams in a bid to placate her anger over her eviction.
He denied bringing the office of councillor into disrepute saying he enhanced his role "by standing up for someone vulnerable".
Gwydion Hughes, for the ombudsman, said that Coun McEvoy had been an evasive witness and was "prone to avoiding the question".
He said that neither of the council employees who gave evidence, Ms Carter and Mr Skinner, had "an axe to grind".
"Neither has any real axe to grind or potential benefit to gain from this process. In fact, quite the opposite. The process has simply involved them in the stressful process of giving evidence.
"Neither gave their evidence in a partial way, both were willing to give concessions where appropriate. They were both live to the difficult position Coun McEvoy and his constituent found themselves in.
"There was in my view sympathy displayed by both."
Mr Hughes said that both council staff were "clear" the comments were directed to Ms Carter and neither had suggested they were towards M r Skinner.
He said that if Coun McEvoy's account that the comments were "thrown behind him" were true, there would have been some debate about who they were directed to.
Mr Hughes said that when giving his evidence in the hearing, Coun McEvoy was "prone to trying to avoid the question".
"He was highly partial and unwilling to make the sensible concessions that truthful witnesses do. He has a stake in the outcome of the case. That's the same approach he took in interview when he finally agreed to one."At no point did he give his own account of what happened.""The witnesses considered it a threat to the stability of employment
Counsel Jonathan Mendus Edwards, representing Coun McEvoy, said there was no evidence that Plaid Cymru's cost-cutting policy of sacking senior management related to staff of Ms Carter's level.
"It refers to making people redundant at a level higher than the person in question here".
"Of course Coun McEvoy stands his ground, this was an attempt to get him".
Coun McEvoy "is willing to make waves, which in the nature of things will upset some people".
And while he questioned the credibility of Ms Carter of a witness, he added: 
"We do not say [employee] Dale Skinner was a deceitful witness, we say that the complaint as a whole involves over egging the pudding".
Mr Mendus Edwards said that the complaint was not taken further by Ms Carter but assistant director Jane Thomas - a role which would be at risk under Plaid's proposals.
But, Ms Carter had told the panel that when she returned to her office after the court hearing she went to raise her concerns with a manager.
Her immediate line manager was at the address in Fairwater dealing with the eviction so she followed protocol and went to her next highest manager, Miss Thomas.
Mr Mendus Edwards said:
"The evidence from Deborah Carter was that she didn't know Coun McEvoy and had no knowledge of his plan.
"That came later, after others were involved and involved the addition of evidence in effect that was not there before".
"The credibility of Ms Carter cannot be assumed and given effect in this case."If that's the case you cannot be sure the words from Coun McEvoy were said to, or directed at her".
Perhaps the interesting  part of this story complaint was submitted to the public service ombudsman by Fairwater Labour Councillor Paul Mitchell.
I think you could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that this was a politically motivated trial.
Whether Councilor McEvoy;s remark was  intended to be heard or not , surly an expensive trial went top far ?
You could well ask that if this was not an attempt to ptevent  Councillor Mcevoy from standing in May's election.
I wonder how many times  a council  member of staff has been told that there may be a new leadership of the council and that there will be changes.
It may not be right but I bet Labour Politicians  who feel it is their God given right to run some Welsh Councils have not been so subtle.
Labour AM Rhiannon Passmore called for him to be suspended from Plaid Cymru following the ruling.
The first day of Plaid Cymru's conference in Newport has coincided with the final day of the tribunal.
Plaid Cymru's chairman Alun Ffred Jones said: "We will be looking carefully at the judgment and we will be deciding on the course of action next week.
"We expect the highest level of behaviour from all elected representatives and I will be meeting Neil McEvoy next week".
However I suspect Plaud members may make it cleat their support for Neil MCevoy when he addresses the conference today and would be vary angry if ther Party bowed to out side pressure/

Ever since these disciplinary panels were set up I have had the feeling that they have been used as a means of silencing  those who are prepared not only to confront the ruling party but take no action against Councillors  who are dishonest and corrupt.
It appears to me it is this sort of disciplinary panels that is bringing things into disrepute.

1 comment:

Leigh Richards said...

Would that every councillor in wales and every member of the senedd showed such support to one of their constituents facing eviction.