Conwy...Councillors Behaving Badly, With No Retribution From A Governing Body?

Cllr Andrew Wood

is being investigated after allegedly dialling into a Zoom meeting while sitting behind the wheel of his car.

Cllr Andrew Wood is cooperating with the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW).

He said: "I replied in full with a clear and concise and robust answer."

Cllr Wood, who represents Gele ward on Conwy County Borough Council, said he would not be able to comment further with the probe ongoing.

The investigation was launched after a stream of a virtual meeting appeared to show Cllr Wood raising his hand to vote while sitting in the driving seat of a car.

The trees behind Cllr Wood are initially stationary but then start moving. This indicates the vehicle has started moving.

The virtual meeting was part of Conwy County Borough Council's Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee on July 4.

The incident was discussed on Jeremy Vine On 5 last week.

While video footage of the online meeting was shown to viewers, Mr Vine said: "Here he is voting and you can see trees going by.

"How he denies it, I've got no idea. It is ridiculous."

The MailOnline reported that Cllr Wood denied taking part in the Zoom meeting whilst driving a vehicle.

Cllr Wood said: "I can tell you I have not done a Zoom meeting while driving a vehicle. The only time I have ever attended a meeting whilst in my vehicle would have been an audio meeting only."

A spokesperson from PSOW said: "We confirm we have an open investigation in relation to Cllr Woods and cannot comment any further at this stage."

UK charity SCARD - Support and Care After Road Death and Injury, slammed Cllr Wood and said "no one, whatever their social position or occupation is, should be so foolish and downright selfish as to take part in a meeting whilst driving".

Retired police officer John Scruby, Trustee of SCARD and the Campaign Against Drink Driving (CADD), told the Journal: "With regard to the ongoing investigation into councillor Wood, who apparently took part in a Zoom meeting whilst driving and was allegedly seen to take his hands from the wheel of the car whilst it was moving, we would like to share our disappointment at the complete disregard for other road users shown by councillor Wood's actions.

"It is a well-established fact that using a mobile phone at the wheel of a car drastically reduces the concentration levels of the driver, even if that call is made 'hands-free'.

"No phone call is important enough to risk the lives of other road users, and the advice is to keep incoming calls at a very minimum, explaining if necessary to the caller that you are driving.

"Outgoing calls, other than absolute emergencies, should be left until the vehicle is parked with the engine off."

SCARD was formed in the early 1980s following the death of Carole Whittingham's son; Carole is the founder of the charity.

Earlier this year, cllr Wood, the original owner of Woods Abergele, revealed he would be retiring from the North Wales dealership after four decades. The Triumph dealership, Woods Motorcycles, was purchased by Completely Motoring Group.

Completely Motorbikes - North Wales has since distanced itself from Cllr Wood.

They posted on Facebook: "With reference to the controversy over Cllr Wood and his recent conduct. Cllr Wood retired from the business in 2021. He has no involvement with Triumph North Wales whatsoever [sic]. All remaining signage is currently being updated.

"The business is owned by the Ayland family. Their long-term commitment to the area is further demonstrated, that they have also opened an additional site, Triumph Chester on the A494."

A spokesperson from Conwy County Borough Council said last week: "We were not made aware of this matter until we received an enquiry.

"The Monitoring Officer will consider appropriate action and also remind all Elected Members of their individual responsibility to conduct themselves in line with the requirements of the Code of Conduct and Members Protocol." 

https://www.mscolwynbay.com/2022/12/abergelecouncillor-andrew-wood-voted-in.html

But will he crawl out of it? How can he deny it when you can see the trees moving? But why is he not being suspended?

Petition https://www.change.org/p/cllr-woods-should-resign?signed=true


Cllr Tom Maclean.

Many articles followed across all of the media sites, including all BBC news sites, The Metro and even on Noway News sites. Disgusted viewers wrote in on mass!

This is not funny and it is not the sort of thing a Councillor should be doing.

The 2011 Norway attacks, referred to in Norway as 22 July (Norwegian22.] or as 22/7, were two domestic terrorist attacks by neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik against the government, the civilian population, and a Workers' Youth League (AUF) summer camp, in which 77 people were killed.

The first attack was a car bomb explosion in Oslo within Regjeringskvartalet, the executive government quarter of Norway, at 15:25:22 (CEST)

 The bomb was placed inside a van next to the tower block housing the office of the then Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.[16] The explosion killed eight people and injured at least 209 people, twelve severely.

The second attack occurred less than two hours later at a summer camp on the island of Utøya in TyrifjordenViken (former Buskerud). The camp was organized by the AUF, the youth wing of the ruling Norwegian Labour Party (AP)

Breivik, dressed in a homemade police uniform and showing false identification took a ferry to the island and opened fire at the participants, killing 67 and injuring 32.

 Among the dead were friends of Stoltenberg, and the stepbrother of Norway's crown princess Mette-Marit. The Utøya attack is the deadliest mass shooting by a lone individual in modern history. 

From ...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Norway_attacks

The Cllr posted this.

Cllr.Tom MacLean - Husband, Parent, Writer & Blogger.

17 h 
Asda are doing this £1 deal for folks over 60.
I am not sure if other Supermarkets are doing anything similar. Maybe you might know.
Maclean claims he did not know who the picture was of, and gave an apology which many felt fell short of the appalling post that he posted online and called for his resignation.
His actions were reported to the Ombudsman, yet he failed to resign!
The council fell silent despite the information being sent to them.


And Maclean below



Cllr Neville Eden...
Mr Eden posted the above comment on a local blog referencing the Gwrych Castle Cat and stating "Dead Cat Time"
Even people on the site questioned his statement which was soon removed, however, it was reported to North Wales Police and the Ombudsman,.
He was not removed from his post however he did not stand for the next elections and is no longer a councillor.
The person who reported it is still awaiting a follow-up from North Wales Police.


One thing is clear from all of this, and that is action should be far swifter and Councillors suspended whilst these things are investigated.

Conwy Council has said that it is nothing to do with them and to refer it to the ombudsman, yet that can take 12 weeks, so the person continues in post whilst under investigation which is wrong!
So will Cllr Andrew Wood just get away with it? 
If guilty of course and all three of the above denied any wrongdoing (don't they always!) 
But we need a better and far more robust system in place and maybe the Councillors should come under something like the care council or similar, something needs to be done as we are losing faith in the system.

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