Watchdog will not take action over Gosport councillors

INVESTIGATION Cllr Peter Chegwyn, left, and Cllr Dave Smith, inset
INVESTIGATION Cllr Peter Chegwyn, left, and Cllr Dave Smith, inset

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TWO councillors who faced investigation by the local government watchdog have been told their cases will not be examined.

But one of them could still be dealt with by their council.

INVESTIGATION Cllr Dave Smith

INVESTIGATION Cllr Dave Smith

Independent councillor Dave Smith and Liberal Democrat Peter Chegwyn, who both sit on Gosport Borough Council, complained about each other to the council’s standards committee.

The committee referred the complaints to Standards for England.

The watchdog has now ruled no action needs to be taken against Cllr Chegwyn.

But allegations against Cllr Smith have been referred back to the council to look into.

It comes after Cllr Smith was cautioned by police in September for assaulting Cllr Chegwyn after a council meeting.

Cllr Smith says their feud had nothing to do with council business and is down to a personal quarrel.

‘My personal view is I don’t think they’re going to put taxpayers’ money into it,’ he said.

‘I don’t think anything will come of it.’

Cllr Chegwyn said: ‘I always knew I had done nothing wrong so I am delighted to have been cleared.

‘[Cllr Smith] should do the honourable thing and resign.

‘He has made Gosport a laughing stock.’

Both councillors have been referred to the standards board before.

Cllr Chegwyn was reported after he voted to block a motion on his Stokes Bay Festival from being discussed.

This resulted in a two-year disqualification which was later reduced at the High Court to a two-month suspension in 2009.

And Cllr Smith finished a 12-month suspension earlier this year for calling council officers corrupt.

A spokeswoman for Standards for England said: ‘I can confirm that in respect of the allegation made against Cllr Chegwyn Standards for England has decided that no further action needs to be taken. In respect of the allegation made against Cllr Smith Standards for England has decided to refer the allegation back to the standards committee of Gosport Borough Council.’