Committee says no action needed on ‘tit for tat’ ‘schoolboys in a playground’ ‘waste of time and taxpayers’ money’ complaint

18:00 12 July 2014

Steve Tierney reading the Wisbech Standard. Picture: Steve Williams.

Steve Tierney reading the Wisbech Standard. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

No action will be taken against a Conservative town councillor who filmed a UKIP county councillor during a Wisbech Town Council meeting.

Fenland District Council conduct committee dismissed a complaint against Councillor Steve Tierney brought by UKIP councillor Alan Lay, his colleague Councillor Paul Clapp and independent town and district councillor Dave Patrick.

The complaint stemmed from on May 19 after Cllr Tierney began filming Cllr Alan Lay on his mobile phone as he started to speak.

The argument was defused by the mayor and, after his intervention, Cllr Tierney stopped.

Cllr Patrick had claimed the filming had been done “intentionally to intimidate and try to embarrass Cllr Lay”.

But conduct committee member Councillor Will Sutton said that since Cllr Tierney had obeyed the chairman’s order to stop filming, the issue had been dealt with and there was no need to take things further.

Independent member Anne Hay described the complaint as “tit-for-tat” and compared the conduct of the councillors involved to “schoolboys in a playground”.

Councillor Fred Yeulett described the complaint as a “waste of the committee’s time and taxpayers’ money”.

But independent councillor Rob Skoulding argued Cllr Tierney had shown a “lack of respect” and that a proper investigation, including an examination of the mobile phone footage, was necessary to see how intrusive it was.

Councillor Nigel Russell, while sharing Cllr Skoulding’s view that a “lack of respect” had been shown, felt the issue had been dealt with because Cllr Tierney had agreed to stop filming.

The meeting was chaired by Wisbech district councillor Sam Hoy who acknowledged her links to Cllr Tierney but said this would not affect her impartiality.

She did, however, abstain from the vote which saw only Cllr Skoulding arguing that more action was necessary.

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