WEST NORFOLK: Anger grows over leader’s standards case hearing
Calls for an outside authority to hear the standards case against former Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy have been rejected.
Opponents of the Freebridge Lynn councillor, who stepped down last week ahead of the forthcoming hearing, have argued that the case should not be heard by the council’s own standards committee – which includes five of Mr Murphy’s Conservative colleagues.
But a call from Labour group leader George Nobbs for the issue to be discussed at yesterday’s full council meeting in Norwich was turned down by chairman Ian Monson.
As previously reported, Mr Murphy is due to face a standards committee hearing on February 1 over his role in the sending of contentious emails to a BBC radio host about the West Norfolk Council, relating to its own proposals for a waste management plan to rival the Lynn incinerator and its leader, Nick Daubney.
But critics are unhappy that the seven-strong standards committee includes five members of Mr Murphy’s own Conservative group.
One of them is the Gaywood South division councillor, Michael Langwade, who could not be reached for comment as the Lynn News went to press yesterday.
But, over the weekend, Mr Nobbs called for the case to be taken out of the committee’s hands.
He argued that voters would not accept a decision that was made by the county’s own body.
And his view was backed yesterday by Mike Knights, vice-chairman of the Farmers’ Campaign group, which is fighting the incinerator scheme.
He said: “It makes sense for it to be heard outside the area. It’s like someone who commits an offence asking his best friends to be on the jury.”
However, a council spokesman said: “Like any decision taken by the council, if it is flawed, then it could ultimately be challenged by the courts.”
Meanwhile, two motions critical of the incinerator plan, put forward by Labour councillor Alexandra Kemp and Tory member John Dobson, were also defeated at yesterday’s meeting.
Miss Kemp’s motion called for the incinerator scheme to be abandoned on health grounds, while Mr Dobson urged the authority to look at possible alternatives.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for King's Lynn
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North