Councillor causes uproar at meeting

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There was uproar at Monday’s Stratford District Council meeting following a question by Cllr Robert Vaudry.

After posing the question ‘how effective would the council rate its effectiveness when investigating complaints against an officer?’ Cllr Vaudry began asking a supplementary question by revealing that he had made police complaints against council officers.

District Council Chairman George Atkinson interrupted Cllr Vaudry telling him he could only continue his point if it was directly relevant to his question.

Although Cllr Vaudry insisted his point was relevant, the chairman disagreed, calling for the councillor not to continue.

Speaking over the chairman’s pleas Cllr Vaudry said: “I cannot accept a monitoring officer trying to prevent me from making a comment that directly impacts on him.

“I have had to report various senior officers to the police because there is no accountability in this district council. All I want to do in my question is ask the chair of the audit committee to ensure that these investigations are properly administered.”

As Cllr Vaudry continued, the chairman stepped in to call a halt to the meeting, amid shouts of “outrageous” from a clearly incensed Cllr Vaudry.

He did not elaborate any further as to the exact nature of his police complaint.

Earlier on in the meeting Cllr Vaudry claimed that Stratford District Council had spent £20,000 investigating him, but had eventually been forced to issue him with an apology.

Stratford District Council have confirmed that the investigations into Cllr Vaudry related to him allegedly running a wedding venue at his Dorsington Home, but disputed the £20,000 figure he quoted.

A spokesperson for Stratford District Council said: “Seven formal complaints have been received since 2013 and all have been investigated by an external investigator at a total cost of £4,460.68.

“The final investigation report cleared Cllr Vaudry of any wrong-doing, save for one allegation that appeared to be a breach of the code of conduct in respect of one specific allegation but on re-examination the breach finding was not legally sustainable and there was no breach of the code in relation to that complaint.

“An apology has been issued to the complainant and Cllr Vaudry.

“Any complaint received needs to be investigated which takes time and money and must be considered on its own merits.”

It is not the first time Cllr Vaudry has been accused of veering away from the point at council meetings to raise issues of his own.

Last year following a motion calling for the council to ensure it had the resources and support to fight racism and xenophobia, he launched an unexpected attack on Warwickshire Police.

He criticised officers for their scruffy appearance and questioned their ability to fight racism and xenophobia.