Tax payers ‘should not’ foot probe bill

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TOWN Hall chiefs today refuted claims over the eye-watering cost of a probe after complaints that a Wigan councillor posted an allegedly racist video on social media.

Police and standards officers at the council have now decided not to proceed with any further investigation into whether the actions of Standish Independent Gareth Fairhurst breached the Race Relations Act or national councillors’ Code of Conduct.

He claims that the process has cost more than £10,000 before it concluded and is determined that the tax payers doesn’t pick up the bill for “spurious” complaint laid.

However, a Wigan Council spokesman insisted that the £10,000 costing for the investigation was incorrect but refused to reveal the actual price.

He said: “A video containing potentially racist content was posted on a public website clearly in the name of Councillor Gareth Fairhurst. The council received complaints from members of the public who were offended by the film and we sought advice from the police as to whether a criminal offence had been committed regarding the potential to incite racial hatred. Complaints must be dealt with thoroughly.”

Coun Fairhurst is demanding those who made the complaint against him along with council chief executive Donna Hall pick up the tab for the investigation.

He said: “The vast majority of members on the website found it as it was a funny video clip.

“I said at the beginning that it was Labour using their usual dirty tricks to try and do damage and the fact is the code of conduct was not broken and both the Police and the CPS said there was nothing wrong with the video.”

“Why on earth should the hard working tax payers pay for these actions?”