More South Somerset revelations

Last Monday we published the first of a series of articles looking at corruption in South Somerset District Council. The initial article can be read here:

In response SSDC issued a long statement. Amongst the claims made in it were the following words: “These allegations were investigated fully and independently, and we can confirm that the two officers involved are no longer part of the organisation.  This was a complex and difficult investigation. We thank all those involved for their diligence, and also express our thanks to all colleagues who have participated in the process. This has been kept confidential to date to ensure that the appropriate evidence was gathered and any disciplinary proceedings resulting from the investigations were fair and legal.”

Anyone reading this might conclude that all allegations have been investigated. In short that the job is done. SSDC would like you to believe this case is about two bad apples. But anyone who has ever kept a barrel of fruit will know it is rarely that simple. Bad apples usually infect those that lie in the barrel around them.

And so it is the same in this instance.

We have seen some of the allegations that have not been investigated. They involve other members of the council as well as elected members.

We will be publishing more of the allegations that have not been investigated in our 15 January edition.

Meanwhile we await confirmation that SSDC will launch an independent investigation into the authority. Tax payers are surely entitled to a much higher level of probity and honest communication from their local authorities.


  • I gather that SSDC is investigating itself?

    • It certainly should be. But their press statement was adamant that they had completed their investigations. We await further announcements to the contrary.

  • I have had this problem about lack of proper investigation into complaints for years. I was told that there is no case to answer in relation on one particular complaint only to find the the officer concerned left about 3 months later…. It’s like the 19th century Wild West here.

    I am sure that I am not alone in wondering why Ric Pallister was not investigated for sex offences years ago and his history only came to light after he stepped down from being the Council’s leader.

  • “The power of the press is very great, but not so great as the power of suppress.”

    Yet again the ‘resurgent’ LEVELLER the ‘Shire-County’ largest circulation newspaper, holding ‘truth’ to power! Forensic ‘journalism’ not a ‘dependency’ on the ‘false’ algorithm’s, the perceived panacea of ‘digital-media’.* The continuing ‘expose’ of South Somerset District Council an indictment, pace the former lamented Paddy Ashdown, who recognised the ‘scrutiny’ of ‘bottom-up’ local governance, of which the local-authority sometime a ‘peer-authority’ alas inflicted, with contemporary ‘party-apparatchiks’ witnessed increasingly across local/national government, a ‘warning’ to future ‘constituents’ of Somerset ‘Unitary’ Authority?

    It further exposes a ‘deficiency’ in the ‘elected’ member’ per se. Local Councillors are elected by the community to decide how the council should carry out its various activities. They represent public interest as well as individuals living within the ward in which he or she has been elected to serve a term of office. Councillors have regular contact with the general public through council meetings, telephone calls or surgeries. Councillors are not paid a salary for their work, but they do receive allowances. All members of the Council are required to complete a register of interest’s form. South Somerset District Council is made up of 60 locally elected members – 40 Liberal Democrats, 14 Conservatives, 5 Independents and

    1 Green (as at 6 May 2020).
    Our Leader and Chairman
    Council Leader: Cllr Val Keitch (from 01/09/2018).
    Council Chairman: Cllr Paul Maxwell. Vice Chairman: Cllr Wes Read.
    Leader of the Opposition (Conservative Party): Cllr Linda Vijeh.
    Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party: Cllr Nick Colbert.
    Leader of the Independents: Cllr Dave Bulmer.

    Presumably a concern of Somerset’s ‘nine’ MPs?

    The writer sometime Chairman, Administration & Finance Committee, the adjoining Local Authority of Mendip, during the ’emergent’ Ashdown ‘renaissance’ subsequently withered on the vine!

    Graham E Livings
    sometime 611th Mayor of Wells/Prospective Parliamentary Candidate; YEOVIL
    *BURNING THE BOOKS: 1SBN 978 1529378 76 4 Richard Ovenden

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