Call for action over councillor

GIVEN the standards of behaviour in the Town Hall by certain councillors very little surprises me anymore, but the revelations that Coun Bleakley spent £2,400 of taxpayers money on sex chat lines and sent abusive texts from his council provided mobile are disgusting.

This is on top of accessing porn on his council provided laptop. If this person had been employed by the Council they would have been sacked. This is a person who has given up the right to hold any position of authority and should resign without delay. The contempt he has shown towards the people of Wigan is nothing short of disgraceful. I can’t see how anyone can defend this type of behaviour which leads me to the role of his Group Leader on the Council, Gareth Fairhurst.

In last week’s report Coun Fairhurst said that Coun Bleakley wasn’t in his Party just a member of his Group! I have news for Mr Fairhurst that means that you have to do something. Failure to throw Coun Bleakley out of your Group means that you are condoning his behaviour.

Given that Coun Fairhurst is normally very vocal on councillors standards of behaviour I am surprised that he has had so little to say. In March 2010 when Coun Jeanette Prescott had to pay £354 back for travel expense claims, Coun Fairhurst said it wasn’t enough to pay the money back he wanted a full investigation.

In this latest case we have had someone rack up a bill of £2,400. I presume that paying the money back is not enough and he will be demanding action?

The question that many people want to know is why he isn’t taking any action against Coun Bleakley?

Is it because Coun Fairhurst receives an extra £4,000 per year allowance as Group Leader?

If Coun Bleakley is thrown out of the Wigan Independent Group or he resigns from the Council then Coun Fairhurst will no longer be eligible for his leaders allowance as you need four councillors to qualify for this.

It is time for Coun Fairhust to make a decision and do the right thing. If he doesn’t then the good people of Wigan will draw their own conclusions as to why Coun Fairhurst refuses to remove Coun Bleakley from his group.

Michael Winstanley

Former Mayor of Wigan