Mayor issues warning over ‘swear’ word

Councillor Brierley has received a warning
Councillor Brierley has received a warning

A WIGAN councillor has been warned about his conduct during council meetings but will not face a further standards committee rap.

Hindley Green independent Coun Bob Brierley had been accused of using inappropriate language in responding to a Labour member at a recent full council meet.

Council officials had indicated the matter would be referred to the local authority’s standards investigation team but that is now not the case.

Instead, the Mayor Coun Phyll Cullen will write to Coun Brierley to issue a warning about his future conduct.

The often outspoken councillor has been the subject to an unprecedented series of standards hearings this year although he has disputed the basis of all of them.

He denied using a derogatory term at the meeting at Leigh town hall last month, instead explaining he had turned to Coun Stephen Murphy saying: “Coun Murphy, you again.”

A council spokesman confirmed to the Evening Post that senior officers maintain he did use an offensive term and have released video footage of the incident.

Coun Brierley said the lack of a standards investigation backed up his claim he did not say anything inappropriate.

And he claims his own recording of the proceedings clear him of using offensive language.

He said: “I am owed an apology because they embarrassed me. It was only Labour councillors who said that I had (used the swear word).”

Farcical scenes followed the exchange when Coun Brierley had stopped addressing the chamber to speak to Coun Murphy because he thought he was talking while he had the floor.

Following the remark, accusations were thrown across the chamber with Coun Anita Thorpe explaining the alleged offensive remark by stating: “It was about his head and another part of his anatomy.”