Rochdale online 16th April 2018
Council leader Allen Brett has been accused of breaking the ‘Code of Conduct for Councillors’ after he was recorded threatening to deprive an area of Rochdale of council money if Labour does not retain the seat at the forthcoming local election.
In the audio clip, understood to have been recorded at a local Labour Party meeting, Councillor Brett is explaining that £12million is to be spent on the borough’s roads and footpaths.
At the end of the two minute clip, Councillor Brett can be heard saying: “…the budget remains fixed at £12 million [inaudible]. I’ve been given an indicative list of where it’s likely to have [sic], but I’m not releasing it – because I’ll deny I’ve said this, and I’m very reluctant to say it even in this room – if we don’t do [sic] successful in one ward, I might not spend any money in that ward. You can work that out, but I’ll deny I’ve said it; I will.
Murmurs of “Milnrow” can (just) be heard in the background from others in the room as Councillor Brett adds: “Because I’m not having, like I was canvassing yesterday, to be told in Milnrow…”
When asked to comment before knowing he had been recorded, the council leader said: “No it is not true and I do not respond to rumours.”
When asked if he wanted to change his position in light of the recording, Councillor Brett did not respond.
After listening to the clip, leader of the Liberal Democrats, and Milnrow and Newhey ward councillor, Andy Kelly said: “That’s disgusting. I am absolutely appalled. How on earth can the council leader threaten the taxpayers of Milnrow and Newhey.
“He needs to step down as council leader and resign as a councillor; that is directly against the councillors’ code of conduct that council resources are not to be used as political gain.