|Councillors' War of Words Deepens|
Conflict between Brentford and Chiswick councillors worsens
A war of words between two Hounslow councillors took a new turn this week when it was revealed that Cllr. Patrick Edwards, who represents Labour in Brentford, has accused the Conservative's Robert Oulds of using council meetings to put forward the views of the pressure group of which he is a paid member.
The accusation follows a dispute between the two councillors over membership of the Police Consultative Group (PCG). Cllr Oulds was not selected for membership to this prestigious committee and criticised Cllr Edwards for his non-attendance at PCG meetings over the past year.
Cllr. Edwards is calling for the matter to be referred to the Standards Board, the national body that is responsible for maintaining high ethical standards amongst local authorities.
Cllr. Edwards said,"Cllr Oulds can be a member of whatever extreme right wing pressure group that takes his fancy - but he should not expect Hounslow Council tax payers to subsidise a platform for him to spout his propaganda."
Cllr. Oulds defended his actions by saying, "The Council is wasting tax payers money on the change over from the Pound to the euro. I informed a meeting, where I was challenging Labour's tax rises, that this money could be spent in better ways. I was not advocating the Bruges Group and besides I have declared the fact that I am employed as Director of that organisation."
He questioned why Cllr. Edwards did raise this issue after the meeting on the 9th March saying that he suspects Cllr. Edwards is upset with him because he exposed the fact that he never turned up to a single meeting of the Police Consultative Group (PCG). He accused Cllr. Edwards of being aggressive and confrontational towards him and said, "Surely Councillor Edwards has better things to do with his time, like attend Council meetings for instance?"
Cllr. Edwards has hit back over criticism of non-attendance at crime meetings by saying "I was unable to attend as meetings clashed with the Brentford + Isleworth Area Committees. You don't fight crime by sitting around a committee table - I have been heavily involved in monitoring police activity and ensuring it best serves the people of Brentford and Hounslow".
Cll Edwards' complaint will be considered by the Borough Solicitor, who will decide if the matter is to be referred to the Standards Board.