19 petitions

Update posted 8 months ago

Petition to The Right Honourable Theresa May

The Council Tax payers of Bolton, calling for the Resignation of Council Leader Morris

The Council Tax payers of Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council and those far and wide are calling for the resignation of Councillor Clifford Morris as leader of the Council and as a Councillor on the following grounds: • Council Leader Clifford Morris used emergency powers to grant £300,000 of tax payers money to Asons Solicitors Limited, a law firm with association to the Labour party. The decision to use emergency powers prevented any opposition to the funding grant, it was authorized in secrecy without notification to opposition leaders. The money was stated for use in development costs of a recently refurbished building in which Asons had already occupied. There is a missing invoice of £900K in development costs that Bolton Council is unable to produce to verify the £180K grant fundng agreement payment of the total £300K payment. •A FOI request in 2012 that finally concluded in 2016 to name the Labour Councillor who had failed to pay his council-tax. The ensuing legal costs in preventing the release of his name has cost Bolton Council thousands of pounds in legal fees. The negative media attention brought into question the transparency of Bolton Council. • The former Chief executive of Bolton Council Paul Najsarek, resigned from his post after five months. Under a FOI request that asked town hall chiefs whether any payments — other than contractual salary and holiday pay — were made to Mr Najsarek after he left his position after just five months. Bolton Council failed to embrace transparency and instead choose to fight against releasing the information. The negative publicity surrounding that lack of transparency brought the Council into disrepute. • Under Council Leader Clifford Morris's leadership a full independent inquiry was requested into the planning processes at Bolton Council. The inquiry stated accusations of block voting at planning committees. Councillor Paul Richardson had been quoted as saying “It is, in my view, not too much to say that the way in which things seem to operate at the moment is a perversion of the planning process and a breach of the constitution. • Clifford Morris has faced calls for resignation from over 250 people on November the 30th at the Town Hall. His subsequent interviews with BBC Manchester Radio and Granada Reports have brought public humiliation not just upon him but the people of Bolton, we allege his actions have violated the code of conduct for Leadership as a Councillor. • Councillor Clifford Morris alone misrepresented the Trustees of the charity 'Leverhulme Park' on multiple occasions to council members, constituents and in print to the Bolton News. Stating that the Charity 'Leverhulme Park' consisted of individual Trustees who had authorized planning approval of a Bolton Council planning project spear headed by the Cabinet Member for Youth, Sports and Culture, Labour Councillor John Byrne. Under multiple FOI requests the release of the annual returns revealed that the Corporate body Bolton Council are the Trustee for the charity 'Leverhulme Park', there are no individual trustees and no designated trustee had authorized their approval for the Bolton Council planning application on behalf of the charity 'Leverhulme Park'. • We allege that all four charities under the management of Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council have failed to keep records of financial payments for use of the charity land, there are no minutes, no governing documents and no independent trustees nor designated trustees for Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council in which legal decisions for the charities have been authorized. • Under the leadership of Council leader Clifford Morris the reputation of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton has been brought into disrepute. Under the opening clause of 'Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 - The council must publicize and explain their democratic arrangements, functions and ways the public can be encouraged to participate more'. The actions of Councillor Morris have created a lack of trust in our political system, a failure in transparency and ran counter to the inclusion and promotion of our democratic system. Bolton Council can only restore faith in the democratic process with  the resignation of Councillor Morris. We the tax payers of Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council ask that this petition be noted and forwarded to the acting Chief Executive Margaret Asquith of Bolton Council and the Prime Minister Theresa May.

Christopher Banks
3,132 supporters