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Conduct Of Councillor Ronald Smith

EDM number 222 in 1994-95, proposed by Chris Mullin on 08/12/1994.

That this House recalls that on 3rd March 1994, commenting on the action of a Labour councillor who took part in an estimates meeting while in arrears with his council tax, Councillor Ronald Smith, the leader of the Conservative Group in Sunderland City Council said, 'I think it is absolutely deplorable. To think that he has the audacity to sit on committees and give his view on finances and he's sitting there in arrears. I think it is appalling that he should do that and it is appalling for the leader of his group to allow him to do it. If it was a member of the public, his feet wouldn't touch the ground and they would be exposed, and I see no reason why he shouldn't be exposed...even more so'; is, therefore, surprised to learn that on 22nd June 1992 Councillor Smith was summoned to appear before Sunderland magistrates for non-payment of ú673.35 in respect of non-domestic rates owing on 5 Albion Place, Sunderland; further notes that Councillor Smith took part in the estimates meeting on 11th March 1992, while in arrears; also notes that it is an offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act to take part in council business relating to finance while in arrears of domestic rates; regrets that this section does not apply to non-domestic rates and believes that this loophole should be closed; and finally notes that the Labour group suspended for six months the offending Labour councillor and invites the Conservative Group to do likewise with Councillor Smith.

This motion has been signed by a total of 25 MPs.

Chris Mullin08/12/1994Sunderland SouthProposed
Bill Etherington08/12/1994Sunderland NorthSigned
Harry Barnes09/12/1994North East DerbyshireSigned
Ernie Ross12/12/1994Dundee WestSigned
John McAllion12/12/1994Dundee EastSigned
William McKelvey12/12/1994Kilmarnock & LoudounSigned
Michael Connarty12/12/1994Falkirk EastSigned
John Gunnell12/12/1994Leeds South and MorleySigned
Tony Banks12/12/1994Newham North WestSigned
Jim Dowd13/12/1994Lewisham WestSigned
John Evans13/12/1994St Helens NorthSigned
John Cummings13/12/1994EasingtonSigned
Jean Corston13/12/1994Bristol EastSigned
Bill Michie13/12/1994Sheffield, HeeleySigned
Ian McCartney14/12/1994MakerfieldSigned
Mike Hall14/12/1994Warrington SouthSigned
Jack Thompson14/12/1994WansbeckSigned
Paul Flynn15/12/1994Newport WestSigned
Tommy Graham15/12/1994Renfrew West and InverclydeSigned
Martyn Jones10/01/1995Clwyd South WestSigned
Ken Livingstone10/01/1995Brent EastSigned
Nick Harvey11/01/1995North DevonSigned
John Hutton12/01/1995Barrow & FurnessSigned
Nigel Jones19/01/1995CheltenhamSigned
Roland Boyes19/01/1995Houghton and WashingtonSigned

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