Labour Councillor Steve Albon who represents Ramsgate's Eastcliff ward on Thanet District Council (TDC) and who is also the Chair of Ramsgate Town Council (RTC), faces an investigation by Kent Police for his alleged failure to honestly and truthfully declare his disclosable pecuniary interests and those of his partner contrary to section 34 of the Localism Act 2011.
This is a criminal offence which, if proven, can lead to a fine of up to £10,000 and/or disqualification “for a period not exceeding five years, for being or becoming (by election or otherwise) a member or co-opted member of the relevant authority in question or any other relevant authority”
In addition, Albon also faces a Council commissioned independent investigation to determine whether his alleged failure to declare his and his partner’s disclosable pecuniary interests, broke TDC’s councillor code of conduct.
The unanimous decision to refer these matters to Kent Police and a TDC appointed investigator was made by the Council’s Standard Assessment Sub-Committee following a complaint I submitted several weeks ago. A copy of the decision notice can be found below
Readers of my blog will recall that I have already published several articles about Albon’s undeclared interests which relate to a settlement and non-disclosure agreement between himself and TDC which ended his employment with the Council in 2016.
This agreement also included a payment by TDC of hush money to Albon, said to be in the region of £15-£20,000 , to keep secret the real reasons for his departure from his job, which some say, if known about, would have excluded Albon from Labour Party membership, let alone being selected to to stand as a Labour Councillor.
It now appears that his partner, and former TDC employee, might also have a settlement and non-disclosure agreement with the Council which, if true, must also be disclosed by Albon in his declaration of interests.
I emailed Albon on four separate occasions over a two year period about his settlement and non-disclosure agreement with the Council pointing out that it should have been declared in his register of interests. He never acted on my advice nor replied to my emails.
It would be unfair of me to comment further on this on matter, or say anything which might prejudice the work of the Police and the Independent Investigator, suffice it to say that I will assist the two investigations if required, including being a witness in court if the matter ends up there.
In the meantime, I call on Labour Council Leader Rick Everitt who, in my opinion, also has a highly questionable track record of interest declarations, to immediately suspend Albon from the TDC group of Labour councillors and to suspend him from membership of the Cabinet.
Anything less would be unacceptable and would give the impression that Labour politicians, just like the Tories they regularly criticise for dishonesty, do not take standards in public life seriously, and do not believe that the rule of law applies to them.
I look forward to hearing the outcomes of the two investigations and not wishing to pre-judge their outcomes, hope that justice is done and that the voters of Ramsgate’s Eastcliff ward can be assured of being served by honest, accountable, and hard working councillors a
Here is the decsison notice.
Call out If you have any information about Councillor Albon you think i might be interested in, or any other information, please contact me on 07866588766 or email email@example.com 100% confidential. I never reveal my sources.