‘Apology’ not accepted by town hall

Coun Bob Brierley
Coun Bob Brierley

A WIGAN councillor accused of swearing in a public meeting will face a standards hearing despite issuing an apology to the town hall.

Hindley Green independent Coun Bob Brierley is alleged to have used the offensive term to refer to Labour councillor Stephen Murphy at a meeting in 2014.

The issue has been rumbling on ever since with Coun Brierley denying using inappropriate language.

But with a long-awaited date now set for a conduct hearing the controversial independent member has written an apology.

However, the council’s monitoring officer is set to reject it as the deadline for contrition has long passed.

And as Coun Brierley maintains he did not use the offensive word, the apology is for the “upset caused.”

A spokesman for the council said the disciplinary hearing is scheduled for February 12.

Speaking to the Evening Post, Coun Brierley said complaints made against Labour councillors had not been taken to a hearing because apologies had been issued and he should be treated the same.

Council officers do attempt to resolve conduct complaints at a “local resolution” stage and it is only after this period has passed that the cases are escalated.

Coun Brierley said: “I have apologised now, what more do they want? This has been a witchhunt from the start. They can’t put any more sanctions on me. They’re trying to disgrace me and this is bullying of the highest level. I have apologised before it goes to a hearing to save taxpayers’ money.”

He added he had submitted a recording of his remark which proves he did not use the alleged term.

Previously he had maintained: “I heard him (Coun Murphy) mumbling while I was speaking and said Coun Murphy, you again’ and it’s on tape.”