Dispute over committee place offer

Bob Brierley
Bob Brierley

A controversial Wigan councillor is to turn down a place on a town hall committee having had his involvement restricted in recent years.

Coun Bob Brierley, who was re-elected in Hindley Green last month, has been offered a berth on the Confident Places Scrutiny Committee.

The independent representative had been barred from serving on committees as a disciplinary measure due to breaching the members’ code of conduct.

However, the latest offer could be interpreted as marking a fresh start given Coun Brierley’s re-election and the often belligerent relationship between himself and town hall bosses.

In an email to council officers explaining his decision, Coun Brierley said: “The only committee I wish to be on would be the audit committee as this would fulfil the needs of the residents of Hindley Green.

“So your offer is not accepted. If and when a place on audit becomes available I will gratefully accept.”

The make-up of the council’s committees was confirmed at a full meeting last month meaning Coun Brierley’s desire to join the audit committee is likely to be discussed at July’s meeting.

Although it is unlikely the Labour-dominated chamber will bend to his wishes given his decision to reject the initial offer. As a non-group member, the make-up of the chamber dictates he can only be offered a place on one committee.

Coun Brierley told the Evening Post: “I’ve been elected by the people of Hindley Green, again, I should be able to sit on the committee that is going to be most relevant to them.”

The two non-Labour places on the audit panel are taken by Couns Michael Winstanley (Tory) and Debbie Fairhurst (Standish Independent).