Councillor refuses to apologise to grandmother for calling her a "stupid old cow" (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Councillor refuses to apologise to grandmother for calling her a "stupid old cow"
6:00am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
A COUNCILLOR who called a 72-year-old grandmother a “stupid old cow” has been held in contempt of council standards.
Margaret Lister had rung up Geoff Evans, 65, her local councillor with Eastfield Parish Council and Scarborough Borough Council, near Scarborough, to enquire why an item on her council tax bill had increased by 100 per cent since the previous year.
After saying to him: “You don’t know and you’re a councillor?” he is alleged to have snapped back: “You’re a stupid old cow you” and hung up on the grandmother.
The grandmother complained to the council after talking things over with her husband, who is in a care home.
An investigation was launched in October last year by Scarborough Borough Council’s standards committee, responsible for enforcing standards amongst parish and district councillors.
Council solicitor Mark Robinson was asked to investigate.
Mr Robinson said in a report he compiled for the standards committee, that he held a meeting in his office with Coun Evans, where a girl on work experience was present.
Mr Robinson said: “As I started to explain the complaint, Councillor Evans started shouting at me.
“He said the complaint was rubbish and lies. At this point, he stood up and began pointing and continued to shout.”
The councillor continued to rant even when the Head of Human Resources Roger Kaye popped into the office, Mr Robinson said in his report.
Coun Evans stormed out of the office and the solicitor followed to ask the Liberal Democrat to apologise for the way he had behaved in the interview – and in front of the work experience girl.
The councillor refused and said he would put his case in person to the council’s Standards Committee.
Mr Robinson explained that the committee may not allow him to speak because Councillor Evans had refused to co-operate with the initial stages of the investigation.
The solicitor upheld Mrs Lister’s complaint, saying he had witnessed the councillor’s behaviour at first hand.
Coun Evans was ordered to make a written apology by the Standards Committee but has so far refused and has not apologised.
The standards committee agreed that if no written apology was made within a specified time, it would be in the public interest to issue a press release on the matter to the media.
Mrs Lister had been ringing to ask why her council tax had gone up when it was supposed to be capped.
The increase was due to the fact an extra charge to fund Eastfield Parish Council had gone up to £35 a year: a 100 per cent increase.
Coun Evans is still a councillor with Scarborough Borough Council, but has resigned from the parish council.
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