A report to the Standards Committee which meet on the 9th December 2009 completely exonerates Cllr Roger Ibbs from any wrong doing during the investigation into the Dimensions fiasco.
The report is to provide the Committee with an opportunity to consider whether there any Standards issues remaining following the conclusion of the Staffordshire Police Investigation.
There had been a number of allegations concerning the proposed closure of the Council run splash pool facilty at Dimensions Leisure Centre, Burslem.
The report also confirms that the original fact finding exercise had being extended to include the removal of Cllr Roger Ibbs from the portfolio holder for Regeneration in the then Elected Mayor’s Executive and Members’ Board.
It also confirms that the interim Chief Executive, Chris Harman sanctioned the formal report be submitted to the Police in November 2008, on the advice of Head of Local Government, Mark Greenburgh.
Paragraph 3.8 of the report states:
Whilst it is not the purpose of this Committee to inquire into the details of the police investigation, it has been suggested that, had matters been referred to the police earlier than they were, Councillor Ibbs’ account of events would have been as a victim and potential witness, and would not have been tainted by the events that followed.
It also confirms that the reports findings will be discussed at a Full Council Meeting at some time in the near future. It says:
Should the Committee accept the analysis set out in this report and
agree that there are no specific Standards issues remaining to be dealt
with, it should also note that the wider implications of the whole chain
of events will be the subject of a report to all councillors at a
forthcoming meeting of the full City Council. This will look at the
broader picture of how organisational lessons might be learned from
the experience with a view to putting in place processes and
procedures aimed at preventing similar occurrences in future. The
outcome of the City Council’s deliberations will be reported to the
Committee at a future meeting
If, as expected, the Standards Committee accept the report, Cllr Ibbs will have the opportunity to address the council chamber and to express his thanks for his fellow councillors support. He will also seek to bring closure to what has been a distressing period in his life.
Talking to Pits’n’Pots today Cllr Ibbs Said:
"It would be improper of me to comment extensively in advance of the Standards Committee meeting. I will however be issuing a statement after that process has concluded"
"I know of the report and am aware of and welcome it’s contents".
"I would like to say that I fully appreciate the support given to me by my fellow councillors from all sides of the chamber and from people outside the council. To be honest, that is the only thing that has got me through one of the most terrible periods of my life".
Cllr Ibbs has been particularly critical of certain council officers’ conduct relating to this matter.
In previous interviews with us he hit out at an officer for inviting him to a spurious meeting and then leaving him at the mercy of two police officers. He has also been critical about the press departments and handling of the situation.
The full report can be read here.