Wait goes on for conduct probes

Bob Brierley
Bob Brierley

TWO controversial Wigan councillors face an extended wait before standards hearings into their behaviour are heard.

Independent councillors Bob Brierley and Robert Bleakley are the subject of conduct investigations which will now not be concluded until after next month’s elections.

Robert Bleakley

Robert Bleakley

Both cases have been rumbling on for months and although neither member is contesting their seat in May, local authority officers have no plans to hear them before then.

Coun Brierley, who represents Hindley Green, is being investigated for allegedly using a swear word to refer to a Labour councillor at a public meeting in November.

He denies using the offensive term and had been originally informed the matter would be resolved with a mayoral warning.

But the issue was reignited earlier this year when deputy leader Coun David Molyneux called for a standards investigation because Coun Brierley had refused to apologise for his conduct.

I’m not apologising for something I’ve not done

Coun Brierley

Speaking to Evening Post previously, Coun Brierley said: “I’m not apologising for something I’ve not done.”

He added he has his own recording of the meeting - which was also being filmed by council officers - which proves his innocence.

Coun Bleakley faces his own standards probe into allegations he made “vile comments” to police officers.

The Tyldesley representative is said to have referenced police killer Dale Cregan when talking to officers following a complaint of harassment he had made against a member of the press following a town hall meet in January.

He has denied making any such comments, calling the allegations “nonsense”, and has in turn reported the borough’s top officer Ch Supt Donnellan to GMP superiors for misconduct in public office.

Ch Supt Donnellan had previously described Coun Bleakley’s comments as: “Frankly vile...which reveal him to be a thoroughly unpleasant and nasty character.”

Council officials said dates for the hearings are likely to be finalised next month.