‘Scurrilous’ allegations made against Hartlepool councillor to be investigated as part of funding review
A working group is to investigate claims made against a senior councillor as part of its funding review.
Town Labour Party leaders called for an investigation into one of their own representatives on Hartlepool Borough Council, Coun Carl Richardson, following what they labelled ‘scurrilous’ allegations made against him on social media.
Coun Richardson, who represents the Victoria ward, added he was ‘fully supportive’ of the investigation.
Councillors from the Socialist Labour Party also called for the investigation claiming Coun Richardson had previously received two special responsibility allowances, when only one is permitted.
It comes after a Labour Party motion calling for a wider review of funding for any organisation to which an elected member is affiliated.
A working group was set up to investigate and carry out the motion at the latest Audit and Governance Committee meeting, which will include the investigation into Coun Richardson.
The Labour Party chiefs said in setting out the scope for the review they wanted it to investigate claims made against Coun Richardson on social media.
Party leader Coun Paddy Brown said: “On behalf of the whole of the Labour Group we are requesting an investigation into Carl Richardson with regard to money he was paid allegedly without being taxed on.
“When I say ‘the whole of the Labour Group’ that includes Carl Richardson.
“Starting off as we want to go on, if there is any discrepancy, we will assist in any investigations and we’re starting off with an investigation into one of us.”
Labour’s Coun Dave Hunter added: “The spirit of the whole motion is around honesty, integrity and transparency, and we’ve seen these scurrilous accusations on social media against one of our members, it would be totally remiss of us not to request it to be investigated.”
Coun Lesley Hamiton backed the investigation, claiming posters had been placed around the ward mentioning her and fellow Labour ward representative Coun Helen Howson.
Coun Hamilton said: “I am implicated in this issue with Carl, both myself and Coun Howson have had our names implicated in posters splattered all over the Victoria ward, so if we’re looking at childish behaviour, that borders on infantile behaviour.”