On 19 April 2016 I reported that, the then Mayor of Derby, Cllr Paul Pegg had used the mayoral office to misrepresent his diary for the evening of 18 April 2016 in order to avoid attending a pre-election constituency meeting. He maintained that he had a “long standing Mayoral engagement” which wasn’t true.
Following a complaint by a member of the public, the Council’s Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer, Janie Berry found that Cllr Pegg had breached the Code of Conduct on the following grounds:
- Failed to treat the residents of New Zealand Association with respect by providing incorrect information to them
- Damage to the reputation of the Office of the Mayor of the City of Derby
- Used his position as Mayor of the City of Derby to his advantage
Pegg was interviewed by Ms Berry, ( James Shires the Labour Party Agent was in attendance) as to how the confusion arose in his diary. He blamed the Mayor’s Office who, he claimed, assumed that a personal engagement was a formal one “without first consulting with him”
The investigation also found no evidence of any “long standing Mayoral engagement” . In other words he lied to his constituents when originally requested to join the meeting.
Pegg advised Ms Berry “….that he attended the Cricket Ground on the late afternoon of the 18 April 2016 to assist his daughter in setting up some displays” – in support of an “event” taking place at the Cricket Ground. I was present at the Cricket Ground late afternoon on the 18th and witnessed Pegg arrive in his personal car, wait for approximately 15 minutes for his daughter, and then drove home. At no point did he get out of the car – no “setting up of displays” took place. In summary he lied to the Council’s Director of Governance in the investigation interview; he had to – his story would not have been tenable if the reason for being there was simply as a “taxi driver” for his daughter. He could not then have blamed the Mayor’s Office.
On April 23rd, shortly after I published my article, I was in the City centre, watching and photographing the St George’s Day parade which was attended by Cllr Pegg (Mayor) and, unusually, Cllr Tittley (Deputy Mayor) – unusual in that both, together, would not normally attend a civic event. I was approached by David Greenall, a friend of Cllr Pegg ( who knew my identity only as Pegg pointed me out to him, as the parade walked past me). He stated that if I continued with my “vendetta against Cllr Pegg” that my safety was in serious jeopardy – his message was clear. Greenall was apprehended and whilst initially denying it, pleaded guilty at the Court Hearing on 8th July. He had no choice but to plead guilty as the alternative would have been to have brought Pegg’s name into the public domain in connection with this “death threat” incident.
2 weeks after Pegg was interviewed by Ms Berry, he obviously realised that the complaint was not going in his favour and expected that his misdemeanours would be made public by Derby News. In a feeble attempt to silence me he approached the Police which is detailed in my article “Ex-Mayor Cllr Paul Pegg wastes Police time trying to intimidate Derby News”
Cllr Pegg was well within his rights to have declined the offer to join a pre-election meeting in his ward without any recourse to lying. An objective report by the Council’s Director of Governance confirms this position. It would be interesting to understand how her conclusions would have been modified if he had not lied to her as well.
This is not a subtle ambiguous mistake in a grey area – this is a series of deliberate actions to mislead his constituents, and the Council’s Senior Legal Officer and to use the Mayoral Office as a scapegoat! Why? What was he trying to hide?
Cllr Alan Graves UKIP leader on Derby City Council said, “Earlier in the year I produced evidence at the Standards Committee that both Cllr Pegg and Cllr Tittley (Mayor and Deputy Mayor) were manipulating the Mayor’s diary for election purposes, which was thrown out at the time by their fellow Labour Councillors on that committee. This new case shows that manipulation continued throughout Cllr Pegg’s Mayoral year. It highlights the contempt the ruling Labour Group have for the residents of Derby and it should be stopped.”
Is it now time for Cllr Pegg to resign?
All Councillors are required to operate to these 7 Principles:
Categories: Derby City Council