Councillors deny Labour accusations

cllr Bruce Broughton
cllr Bruce Broughton

CONSERVATIVE councillors have told the Advertiser they believe they did nothing wrong by not declaring a pecuniary interest when parish council funding was discussed at an Erewash Borough Council meeting last week.

Deputy leader of the Erewash Labour Group, Cllr Frank Phillips, said that Cllr Carol Hart and Cllr Bruce Broughton should have declared the money they are paid by West Hallam Parish Council before the matter of concurrent functions was discussed.

cllr Carol Hart

cllr Carol Hart

But both Cllr Hart and Cllr Broughton have told the Advertiser that they believe they are in the right.

Cllr Phillips told the council chamber at Ilkeston Town Hall that Cllr Hart should declare a pecuniary interest because of an allowance she receives for being the chair of West Hallam Parish Council, and that Cllr Broughton should have made it clear that his company are paid to design and run the parish council website.

Cllr Phillips said: “All I’m trying to do here is shed a bright light on some very murky waters.

“This lot have been saying they do it for nothing but parish chairmen get an allowance paid from concurrent function money.”

But in response Cllr Hart said: “We were discussing concurrent functions and I rightly declared a personal interest as chairman of West Hallam Parish Council.

“I didn’t need to declare a pecuniary interest as the allowance I receive is from precept money, not from concurrent function money. Precept money is collected from the people of West Hallam, not the whole of Erewash.”

And Cllr Broughton added: “I am confident that I’ve done nothing wrong so Cllr Phillips can make his complaint.

“I always declare any interests when I need to.”

Cllr Phillips told the Advertiser after the meeting that he would not take the matter further because technically they did not need to register the interest having already revealed the payments to the council.

But he said morally they should have announced the interest again so residents sat in the public gallery had known the full facts during the discussions.

At the same meeting he accused Conservative councillors of reporting his wife to the Department for Work and Pensions, leading to an assessment of her benefits.

Conservative councillors denied any knowledge of the assessment.