CLLR PERRY'S WRITTEN RANT
ANALYSIS OF CLLR PERRY'S LETTER TENDERED IN PUBLIC AND READ OUT BY HIM
"On 24 June 2017, there was a request to the Chairman for help from a member of the public regarding making a complaint.
The response from the Chairman the same day included the necessary blank complaint form, which was correct.
However, the information regarding the submission of the form was incorrect and potentially exposed the contents to persons not authorised and that it should have gone directly to the Monitoring Officer at TMBC.
This was copied to ALL BGPC Members, contrary to confidentiality requirements of Standing Order 28d, where there is a Legal Requirement to maintain confidentiality.
It should also be noted that ECHR Article 8 gives individuals confidential protection from people in authority who need to deal with such information. I quote:
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right etc..."
ECHR Article 8 has been breached by Cllr Taylor .
There was, therefore a direct breach of BGPC Complaints Procedure, a breach of the BGPC Standing Orders and as this was in an official capacity, a breach of the BGPC Code of Conduct : paragraphs 3 and more importantly 5. "He/She shall not disclose information which is confidential or where disclosure is prohibited by law." There is also a significant breach of the TMBC Code of Conduct as a result of a failure to follow due process and to respect confidentiality."
The complaint has to be circulated to Members of the PC, and has to be noted in "Correspondence". The Clerk acted correctly by redacting the names before posting the note to correspondence. By definition, material sent to the Parish Council is confidential until noted at the public meeting. As the names were not made public, there is no breach of the Code or ECHR. Cllr Perry's was named in a vote of No Confidence, but without reference to the complaint or the names therein. At no point was information released that breached confidentiality. To further clarify, the complaint referred to Cllr Perry's behaviour in public office, so has no relevance to his "right to private and family life". When we put ourselves forward for Public Office, have a duty to carry out that Public role to the highest ethical standards.
"The request mentioned children in two families. This should have rung alarm bells for anyone handling this request as there were obviously Safeguarding issues coming into play."
This is a red herring - Cllr Perry is an adult, the Parish Councillors are adults, the complaint was not made public, confidentiality is maintained.
"For the benefit of Parish Councillors, In the past few months, ALL Borough Councillors were requested to have a briefing/training on current Safeguarding policy and procedures. The TMBC Councillor/BGPC Chairman chose not to do so.
As someone who has had KCC Training as a Youth Worker, who holds an Enhanced CRB/DBS, and who worked in this Parish for 9 years as a Youth Worker, I don't think TMBC have much to teach me, and if Cllr Perry's remarks are any indicator of the value of the training, TMBC have wasted their money.
"A few hours after a copy of the original request was received by myself, a telephone call was taken by my wife which included a veiled threat of serious violence against me. Later that day, I received an email from the Chairman BGPC, making pronouncements on the original request, that so far as I am aware, were not formal complaints at that time. This email made references at both parish and borough level."
Now this is a quite clever bit of manipulation - by putting these two sentences together, Cllr Perry makes a strong implication that I was guilty of calling and threatening violence. Now as far as I can recall I have neither phoned Mr Perry's house, nor spoken to his wife, ever !! And my phone records are available should anyone wish to check. It is quite possible that someone under extreme pressure may have threatened violence against Cllr Perry, but it categorically was not me.
"The Chairman, by harassment, tried to be accuser, Judge and Jury in a situation where he was not aware of the full facts of a subject that had nothing to do with him."
A daft accusation of harrassment, nor have I tried to be judge and jury. The Clerk and I fulfilled our duties by furnishing the requisite complaint form, and by circulating an item of Parish Council correspondence to members, and ensuring confidentiality. Apart from including Cllr Perry in all the emails, I cannot have harrassed him because I did not speak or email him. Again, call logs will prove the truth. The only fact I had, and the only fact I acted on, was the complaint received - Neither the Clerk nor I have any discretion. If the complaint is proceeded with, others far from here will be "judge & jury". I have made no pronouncement about guilt or innocence, merely record the facts as presented.
"I understand from email circulation that the intention to make a complaint was withdrawn on 25 June 2017"
A second email was sent by the complainant withdrawing the complaint because of threats by Cllr Perry, and the second email was also circulated to Members
"As a result of the violence threat and the harassment email, T&MBC Safeguarding Team were subsequently contacted and they cascaded it to Kent Police."
This is just a bit of lily gilding, he may have made a report, it is whether the Authorities progress it that matters. And "cascade" to the police, really. And would the "Safeguarding Team" really be interested in a threat to a grown man?
"If there is any further discussion of this non-parish council and non-borough council subject by the Cllr Taylor this evening or at any point in the future, it will be considered an additional breach of the BGPC Code of Conduct, a breach of the TMBC Codes of Conduct, as well as a criminal act of "Course of Conduct Harassment" which will be notified to Kent Police for them to take the necessary action "
Firstly, that sounds like a threat to me, even harassment, if you had seen some of his other emails. But in reality Cllr Perry has no grounds for any of his long list of criminal behaviour, might as well throw in Barratry and Arson while he is at it.
Secondly, whilst treading a very fine line regarding confidentiality, I believe a complaint from a member of the public that alleges "Breach of trust by a senior Parish and Borough Councillor in the course of his duties" is very much a Parish and Borough Matter, and indeed we would be breaching the Code if we had not reported the matter to the Monitoring Officer, or failed to advise the resident.
"Action for breach of relevant codes and standards will also be taken against any other Councillor who considers they are able to discuss this matter freely, either at this meeting or elsewhere, particularly in the public domain."
Now here Cllr Perry really is going beyond the pale by attempting to stifle all public debate, to take away our right to freedom of speech, to be able to indulge in free discourse. If Mr Perry wants to travel that road, he needs an injunction, one that he would fail to get because confidentiality has been maintained. As I understand it Mr Perry was told at the meeting that his resignation would stop any complaint, which would be the simplest way to protect the children and families that could be dragged into a steadily widening local debate. He may well believe he can gag us, but he cannot gag an entire village, or an entire ward.
Finally, Cllr Perry has made a career for himself for the past 10 years or more calling me a liar, impugning my honesty and commitment, all hidden behind a thin veneer of Civic Responsibility. No one actually listens to him, so I allow him his little game, keeps him out of more serious mischief. But, Oh dear, now someone has had the temerity to complain about his behaviour and he goes straight off the deep end. In the words of the Immortal Corporal Jones "They don't like it up 'em, Mr Mainwaring"