Derby City Council

Cllr Paul Pegg intimidates Mackworth ward resident in his “apology” letter

Cllr Pegg just doesn’t know how to say ‘sorry’. Despite being found guilty of disrespecting some of his constituents, and being instructed to send a letter of apology, he manages to intimidate the recipient, blame others, and fails to accept any accountability for his actions.

After the Council’s Director of Governance 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; and
  • Used his position as Mayor of the City of Derby to his advantage.

..he was required to apologise to the Chair of New Zealand Community Association (NZCA) and explain his reasons for not attending a pre-arranged hustings event on April 18 2016.  The full details of this were covered in my article.   (Mayor of Derby (Cllr Pegg) uses “office” to avoid public debate in his ward). Despite the letter being from him in his official capacity, and on Derby City Council headed note paper, he felt it within his right to intimidate Mrs Coons by saying:

“ Should any part of this letter be published in any shape or form I will hold the NZCA responsible and report the matter to the responsible authorities?”

It’s curious that he doesn’t want this letter to be read by the general public – what is he trying to hide? It is published in full below.
pegg1

In fact, this letter was published by Derby City Council, on its website, under Freedom of Information, for all to see. They must have concluded that it was in the public interest and did not breach any Local Government restrictions.

Rather than addressing the point that he was asked to do, he went on to suggest that he had been subject to personal attacks during his whole Mayoral Year, his daughter being followed, family members being harassed, and such incidents being referred to the Police.

pegg2

Most of this referred to my investigation around this very incident,  that resulted in my article published on 18 April.  His daughter was not followed – no one was followed. This incident took place 4 weeks before he left office, and there were no other so-called “personal attacks”. No other family members were harassed. On 22 June Pegg went to the Police to try and report me, suggesting that there was a history of harassment. Whilst the Police were required to speak to me – they were embarrassed by the singular lack of any examples, incidences or evidence to substantiate his claim. They filed it, as Pegg’s allegations had no shred of truth or credibility.

The only Police action taken was against Pegg’s friend who pleaded guilty in court, and was fined, following his threat of physical violence against me, on the instruction of Pegg, during the St George’s Day parade, in the centre of Derby, on the Saturday after my article was published.

Pegg’s explanation for non-attendance was that there was a “long service award in the diary” however the Director of Governance concluded in her investigation that

“When asked about reservations in the Mayoral calendar for potential long service awards, I have not been able to locate or be provided with any material such as historic diary entries, email trails, which supports this.”

Despite this Pegg still uses this as the basis for his excuses. But he doesn’t stop there, he proceeds to blame his Personal Assistant, the Mayor’s Officer, and then tries deferring accountability by highlighting how busy he was.

pegg3

He repeats his very dubious claim that he raised £56,000 for charity – £50,000 actually being donated by Joanna Lumley to her own charity ( he declared this in Full Council), for which he claims credit. This has been reported to Ms Lumley.

The £300,000 refurbishment of Mackworth Estate Community Hall was totally project managed by Derby College professionals, and was completed almost 12 months before this hustings event.

Pegg then goes on the offensive by questioning NZCA’s political allegiances, and direction:

“You need to ask yourselves the reasons why, could it be that you are now being led by a member(s) of a political party?”

pegg4

NZCA is a strictly community association and is being led apolitically; people throughout society are members of political parties that, in itself, is not a problem. He obviously overlooked the fact that he is chair of Mackworth Estate Community Association, ….”which is led by a member of a political party”. Is this a case of double standards?

Finally he tries to suggest that there was an inconsistency in approach and that other non-attendees were not equally criticised. Of the 6 parties invited, all attended apart from Pegg, as sitting Councillor, and the candidate from the Green Party. The Green candidate stated that they were unable to attend – they didn’t offer a spurious excuse – Pegg failed to understand the subtle difference.

The sad thing is that no matter how many times complaints are made against him,  investigated and upheld by independent legal officers in the Council  – it is always someone else’s fault, and he is always the victim. He continues to fabricate with impunity his own version of events which substantiate his view of reality. This all happened when he was the paid Mayor of Derby, and an elected Councillor who is subject to strict Codes of Conduct which demand

Selflessness , Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, Leadership

nolan

This letter demonstrates none of these qualities.

….and finally, he needs to remember that he must

nolan2

1 reply »

  1. Having read the letter of “apology”, I find it difficult to see where the “apology” starts! All it reads as, is a self pitying look on how to be portrayed as an “alleged” victim. As the letter is placed on the Derby City Council website and can be seen by anyone, including the Director of Governance, can this be allowed to be seen as a letter of “apology”, when no sign of anything apologetic has been mentioned? Surely, further action is needed against this councillor’s behaviour, to stop him bringing the Council into further disrepute? Furthermore, if the letter is of an apologetic nature, before being released, surely it should be scrutinised by the Director of Governance, to ensure it contains the reason for its issue?

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