Councillor has IT equipment removed

Coun Gareth Fairhurst
Coun Gareth Fairhurst
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FURTHER sanctions have been imposed on a councillor for his failure to apologise to local authority chief executive Donna Hall.

Coun Gareth Fairhurst will now have his council IT equipment removed and emails “managed”.

The Standish Independent leader was found to have breached the members’ code of conduct in referring to Ms Hall as “a liar” and “politically biased” in a series of online and printed media comments and was disciplined by a standards committee in August.

But Coun Fairhurst has disputed the decision as he has already notified the council of his intention to refer it to judicial review.

Deputy leader of the council, Coun David Molyneux, said: “I would expect Coun Fairhurst, as a leader, to set an example to his fellow councillors and spend more time focussing on politics rather than getting in trouble.

“Each time he gets told off he claims that the standards panel are politically biased or that this is all part of a witch hunt against him.

“He uses this to excuse his poor behaviour. The panel is not politically biased in favour of the majority group.

“I would like to ask Coun Fairhurst to please use his position for better use, rather than making it his mission to make a mockery of Wigan.”

Coun Fairhurst told the Evening Post he does not use a council issued laptop and was not sure which equipment they would remove.

He said: “They can keep making it up as they go along as much as they want but let’s see what an impartial adjudicator makes of it all (at judicial review).

“The comments were made in my own time and not using council equipment.”

He also claimed that the sanction calling on him to apologise had not been read out at the hearing and added into the statutory notice afterwards.

The hearing calling for the extra sanctions took place on Tuesday evening without Coun Fairhurst present.

His right to distribute Brighter Borough funding has already been removed for the remainder of his term.