Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Re Standards Complaint

Some of you will be aware that I found it necessary to refer Cllr Wells to KCC’s Standards committee.  Details of their determinations follows

Decision Notice
Standards (Assessment) Sub Committee
Reference Number: KCC/1/2012
Date: 7 March 2012
Details of the complaint:
Mr T Flaig (the complainant), raised concerns about the alleged conduct of Mr C Wells, an elected Member of Kent County Council. A general summary of the complaint is as follows:
It is alleged that the conduct of Mr Wells has fallen below acceptable standards in that he has used an abusive and disrespectful term, “lickspittle” to describe the complainant on the complainant’s blog. Initially, the complainant contacted the Head of Democratic Services, who spoke to Mr Wells, who then made a formal, public apology to the complainant on the same blog site. However, the complainant has refused to accept the apology on the basis that it is not an unreserved apology and a retraction of the disrespectful term and, instead, he has asked for his complaint to come to the Standards Committee for assessment
The Standards (Assessment) Sub Committee was of the view that the complaint related to Paragraph 3(1) of the Code of Conduct: “You must treat others with respect”.
In accordance with Section 57A(2) of the Local Government Act 2000 (as amended), the Assessment Sub Committee of the Standards Committee has decided to refer the complaint to the Monitoring Officer for action; namely that Mr Wells be asked to make an unreserved apology to the complainant for his use of the term “lickspittle”, which the Sub Committee thought was disrespectful to the complainant and that if Mr Wells was not inclined to offer an unreserved apology in a form acceptable to the Monitoring Officer, the matter be brought back to the Assessment Sub Committee.
Reasons for decision:
The Assessment Sub Committee’s reasons for its decision were as follows:
  • The evidence for the actions of Mr Wells is not in dispute and it was unlikely that anything further would be gained by asking the Monitoring Officer to expend public monies carrying out a formal investigation into the complaint.
  • Nevertheless, the term “lickspittle” was disrespectful to the complainant and it was appropriate for Mr Wells to offer an unreserved apology to the complainant for his use of the term


  1. People in authority who show such contempt for a member of the public should in my opinion be removed from office.

  2. Let this be a warninng to any other councillor that bad mouth's you Tony.

  3. Well you must be so proud you have won your case. How dreadful to call you a lickspittle and him the holder of public office. Been OK I guess if he called you a c**t or something more in Margate vogue but a lickspittle, whatever next. Remind me not to call you a bounder or a scallywag now I realise how sensitive you Lib/Dems are.

  4. Cllr Wells had the choice, 4:19, he choose to be abusive.

    Were you better educated you'd understand.

    " the term “lickspittle” was disrespectful to the complainant and it was appropriate for Mr Wells to offer an unreserved apology"

    hopefully Wells has the good grace to accept his wrong doing.

  5. Just how abusive is lickspittle and isn't a bit of abuse par for the course on blogs. After all you are accusing me of being poorly educated so isn't that insulting.

    Just find it a bit hypocritical when Tony himself has not been slow to insult contributors from time to time, to make an issue of such a relatively mild example of abusive language.

    Wonder if you would be so keen to condemn if the good Cllr were not a Conservative. After all, the current term of endearment between the chaps on the other side seems to be tosser.

  6. 04:49 Chris Wells is the person you need to address your remarks to on this.

    KCC Standards have made their determination.

    Please write to Wells

    Make no mistake I consider the term offensive as do others.

  7. Tony you could remind some of your critics here that not only was the term offensive but it was also untrue. If I remember the post correctly, cllr Wells stated that you were Libdem leader cllr Trudy Dean's lickspittle. A bit of an insult to her as well.

    You may be interested to know that KCC leader cllr Carter has today thrown his rattle out of his pram and removed cllr Dean as chairperson of the scrutiny committee.
    This is a bit rich as scrutiny is supposed to be a check on the decisions made by the council and now it will be chaired by the ruling party.
    So much for democracy at KCC.

  8. anon 5.33

    Seems to be par for the course when you upset them.

    Other councillors have suffered similar and worst fates, a former councillor was also removed from a scrutiny committee for upsetting the apple cart and actually trying to scruntise the council and KCC activities surrounding children.

    I'm sure Trudy knows of her.

  9. Tony, why didn't you just send your complaint to John Worrow? After all he's being paid to deal with these sort of things.

  10. I am rather mystified, Tony, as to why I would want to address my remarks to Cllr. Wells.

    You chose to report this on your blogsite and, by implication, invited comment. Hence I am addressing my observations to you and the contributor at 4:40 who questioned my education.

    Having said that, I am not questioning your right to refer what you perceived as insulting, but would have expected a political blogger like you to be made of sterner stuff.

  11. A suggestion Tony: why don't you put a poll on your page, asking whether we think cllr Wells' remark deserved an official complaint from you? I'm curious myself what the majority of your readers think.

  12. Anon 7.59, at the end of the day the KCC Standards sub committee's considered opinion was that Tony had been treated in a dis-respectful way. So what you think and other commentators is irrelevent.
    The only problem I see is that if cllr Wells cannot or will not apologies in a way that is acceptable to the KCC Montoring Officer.

  13. it's not irrelevent, as Tony seems to assume that nearly everyone agrees with him, yet the general consensus as far as I can tell is that he's acting just like Worrow and Driver and needs to grow some balls.

  14. Worrow and Drive has lovely balls

  15. Have you seen the mayor's balls?!

  16. It's right that people in positions of authority should set an example. Wells should have thought more before putting fingers to keyboard.

    It could also be argued that people running blogs should operate responsibly. Flaig has attacked lots of people - individually and in groups - and used abusive terms and offensive language on many occasions. His usual "apology" is "bollix". Standards? An uneven, unprincipled approach to them, I think.

  17. Tony, I'd like to nominate this for comment of the month.

    Worrow and Drive has lovely balls

    Wed Mar 14, 11:44:00 PM

  18. Simon Moores recently wrote "Tony.. let's be fair and without mitigating anything Chris Wells may have said or written, if anyone is guilty of making derogatory and insulting comments on Big News, then it's you on a regular basis"

    Tony retorted "Do please enlighten us with a few examples Simon, if I've ever been personally abusive in a similar way.

    No surprise that Simon Moores could not find any examples.

  19. 11:04 Not he could not find any, but could not be bothered. Go through old posts and see for yourself how dismissive of people Tony can be when he disagrees with their comment. As one earlier contributor said "bollix" is not an uncommon offering from Tony to dismiss his fellow man.

    This does not make Cllr Wells right but it does raise questions about Tony's one sided view of insults. OK to give them but not to receive - bit hypocritical.

  20. He couldn't find any!

    Keep digging!

  21. Reader of Bignews may recall that Simon Moores linked Tony to the "beached whale" in Thanet and then when challenged blamed his Ipod. How insulting was that.

  22. I see the hater of Simon Moores has joined the debate. Like I've told you before, 12:07, you could do yourself a mischief with this obsession. He does not fancy you so be a man and live with it.

  23. I agree 12:07, extremely insulting! Whales are beautiful and intelligent creatures.

  24. Of course we have nothing better to worry about in Thanet than poor old Tony's offended person.
    The whole local blogosphere is becoming obsessed with personality. Worrow, Driver, Flaig. All busy worrying about trivia.
    Chris Wells, grow a pair and say sorry properly. Tony Flaig, grow up.

  25. i do dispair at the puffed-up self-importance of some people nowadays. So many people cannot wait to tell teacher if that naughty boy stuck his tongue out at them and do tend to get offended all to easily.

    What a country we have become

  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. This topic has gone on longer than it should, perhaps. Therefore I'm closing the book on this one.

    You'll all have your views, at the end of the day, the original comment I viewed as offensive and inaccurate.

    Councillors should have similar standards, to their electorate, a few have suggested (perhaps misguided fellow conservatives) I've been similarly abusive to named individuals, not true to the best of my knowledge.

    Still if I'm wrong let me know and I'll do the right thing