AS one of the complainants to the activities of Councillor John Beesley, I am compelled to respond to his statement reported in the Echo on 23 March 2019.

Speaking only for myself and wishing to put the record straight, I absolutely deny that I have been part of a vendetta against Cllr Beesley.

The truth is that I have no political ambition, nor do I wish to cause him, the council or the Conservative Party any reputational damage.

My reasons for making the complaint, and one which I believe any reasonable person would agree with, is my belief and understanding, that councillors should not be employed as consultants to developers.

It is blindingly obvious that the involvement by councillors in developments, regardless of whether they can or cannot influence a planning decision, is likely to draw criticism, and this is particularly the case where a councillor’s employment is not openly declared.

This is of significant importance where the councillor is also the leader of the council, where they are responsible for nominating members of the Planning Board, participating in executive meetings, committees and partnerships that influence or take decisions that direct how the town is being developed.

My understanding is, that the requirement for councillors to declare such interests is fundamental to ensuring the council’s decisions are made openly, transparently and not influenced, or perceived to be influenced, by councillor’s personal interests.

I agree with Councillor Beesley that we now have to move on and concentrate on the work of the new BCP Council, but in moving forward I hope that Councillor Beesley will agree with me that all councillors must embrace the principles of selflessness, honesty and integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness and leadership.

As an example, to all councillors, and to prevent a repeat of this very damaging episode in the council’s history, I challenge Cllr Beesley to fully declare his past and future business interests that relate to specific developments within the BCP Council area.


Independent, Redhill and Northbourne Ward