Cllr Redsell calls for inquiry to clear her name

CONTROVERSIAL Thurrock councillor Joy Redsell has called on the legal department at Thurrock Council to launch an investigation into her relationship with ICG Ltd as well as the meeting with a property developer in a Brentwood hotel.

Her call comes at the end of a public inquiry into the enforcement notice for the Titan Lorry Park at Oliver Road in West Thurrock.

The defiant former mayor has gone on the attack in response to what she described as “unfounded accusations and somewhat unpleasant comments continue to circulate about me via the local media.”

In her letter to the head of the legal department, Tansim Shawcatt, Cllr Redsell goes on to say:

“For some considerable time there has been near hysteria regarding the connection between Thurrock Conservative Association and Industrial Chemicals Ltd. Much of the reporting around this has focussed on me personally and whether I have acted improperly in my capacity as an elected individual.

“Many reports that have appeared in the public domain have been riddled with inaccuracies and in my opinion have been designed to deliberately discredit me.

“Latterly, there have been accusations of misconduct on my part as a result of my meeting on 31 March 2011 for lunch with a long-term friend; by whom my opinion was sought on a planning idea. I should add that I was completely unaware that I was to be consulted on this matter until our meeting. Moreover, the issue discussed was no more than a proposal and not in relation to any planning application. Nonetheless, as a result of this incident, you will be aware that I removed myself from the Council’s Planning Committee in order to preserve the integrity of both myself and the said committee.

“With regard to both these issues, I feel there has been ample opportunity for any concerned individuals or commentators to make a complaint about me to you in your capacity as the council’s Monitoring Officer and for a Standards charge to be brought against me under the Members’ Code of Conduct.

“Despite having much to say via the anonymity of web based blog sites, it would appear that no individual/s have been able or willing to make a substantiated complaint to you; clear evidence in my opinion that there is no substance to the scurrilous commentary by certain individuals, some of whom are employed in the local media.

“I am resolute that at no time have I fallen foul of either the law or the Members’ Code of Conduct as a result of my behaviour as an elected Councillor. Nonetheless, as no other individual has seen fit to properly do so, I am writing to inform you that I wish to refer these matters for investigation by the Council’s Standards Committee, at the conclusion of which I expect to be cleared of these most serious allegations.

“As mentioned, I am certain that at no time have I abused my position, acted with dishonest intent, or inappropriately attempted to advantage any organisation/individual. Neither have I sought to influence the decision-making process beyond that which is acceptable of somebody in elected office.

Nonetheless, for whatever reason or motive, there appears to be continued innuendo regarding the way I have at times conducted myself. I therefore request that you commence proceeding to fully, openly, and robustly examine whether I have breached the Members’ Code of Conduct, or the law, in my dealings with matters relating to ICG Chemicals and/or by my actions on the 31 March 2011.

“Unusually, I have gone to the lengths of issuing this letter to the local media. My motive for doing so is to make entirely clear that I have not acted improperly at any time and have only ever sought to discharge my duties as an elected councillor to the best of my abilities.

“More importantly, for those who feel they have evidence of wrongdoing on my part, or who wish to contribute to or influence any forthcoming investigation, now is the time to stand up and be counted. I am no longer prepared to tolerate any more damage to my reputation and am willing to account for my actions honestly and openly.

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