Ex Lib Dem Mayor in Road Tax censure

Bishopstoke Methodist Church

Bishopstoke Methodist Church - taxed vehicles only please

An Eastleigh councillor accused of being a road tax dodger by his former colleagues has been forbidden from driving an untaxed vehicle on council owned land.

The bizarre punishment was handed out after a probe by Eastleigh council’s standards committee into allegations that Independent Councillor Glynn Davies-Dear had been driving his car without a valid tax disc.

It also lifts the lid on the internecine warfare that broke out following last year’s split in local Lib Dem ranks.

In January 2011 Glynn Davies-Dear, a popular Eastleigh Central councillor and former mayor of the Borough, headed a high profile split from the Liberal Democrats taking councillors Andy Moore and Dave Broughton with him.

The breakaway trio formed the Independent Group of Eastleigh Councillors with Davies-Dear as leader, claiming they were unhappy with Lib Dem coalition policies.

“It’s a matter of integrity” said Glynn Davies-Dear at the time “you live and die by it.”

Glynn Davies-Dear

In May Andy Moore lost his Central Eastleigh seat to the Lib Dem candidate Keith Trenchard. However this lead to Glynn Davies-Dear making a complaint to the police regarding  Trenchard’s election leaflet which falsely stated that that the coach driver was an ‘experienced local councillor’.

Days later, Cllr Davies-Dear also lodged a complaint with the Election Commission in which he alleged that there were irregularities in Chris Huhne’s election expenses.

The complaint made national news headlines by 20 May and resulted in small group of journalists staking out Eastleigh’s civic offices in an attempt to question Cllr Anne Winstanley (Mr Huhne’s agent) over the allegations.

Subsequently on investigation, both of Cllr Davies-Dear’s complaints were dismissed, however they were very much alive and in the news when a few days later he found himself on the receiving end of Lib Dem attention.

On the 24 May Davies-Dear, then also a Bishopstoke parish councillor, attended its AGM at the Methodist hall on Sedgewick road.

Davies-Dear had picked his untaxed car up from the Roddington Forge workshop on Allington Lane where it had been MOT’d.

It is legal to drive a car with no tax to and from MOT appointments and Cllr Davies-Dear claims he stopped en-route to his home to attend the meeting.

Cllr Trenchard tailed Davies-Dear

Newly created Cllr Trenchard , and fellow Lib Dem councillors Chris Thomas and Paul Bicknell  -who claim to have been in the area by chance – noticed the Independent councillor’s unlicensed vehicle outside the meeting hall.

Eastleigh News understands the councillors attempted to report the car as an abandoned vehicle but this failed to produce a response.

Glynn Davies-Dear told Eastleigh News what happened next:

“The police called me, I told them about the MOT and they took no further action, I have not been prosecuted or fined What did happen was Cllrs Thomas, Bicknell and Trenchard then laid in wait and filmed me driving home. Cllr Bicknell then put in the complaint to the Council’s Standards Committee with the film evidence.”

At the standards committee hearing on 22 February a panel of three committee members heard how the Lib Dem councillors had followed Cllr Davies-Dear home while filming him.

Cllr Trenchard was driving; Cllr Bicknell was filming while Chris Thomas was a passenger.

However the panel also heard that the investigating officer who viewed the date stamped film found it impossible to determine from the footage if the car was being driven by Cllr Davies-Dear.

The panel also heard that Cllr Davies-Dear’s car had been untaxed since May 2010 and that Councillor Bicknell had disclosed to the investigating officer that Davies-Dear had received a conviction for driving without a tax disc in 2007.

Cllr Davies-Dear told Eastleigh News that he had successfully appealed against the 2007 conviction.  The conviction had been widely known about at the time but his Lib Dem colleagues had not reported him to the standards committee on that occasion, proof said  Davies-Dear, that the complaint was ‘party politics’.

The council’s investigating officer concluded that since the vehicle had been untaxed, uninsured and without a SORN declaration for a significant amount of time – contrary to legislation – Cllr Davies-Dear had therefore brought the office of councillor into disrepute.

Cllr Davies-Dear stuck to his story that he had been entitled to drive the vehicle back from an MOT appointment but he was unable to substantiate it with documentation claiming the MOT tester had since gone out of business.

The panel however, decided that the councillor must have taken a detour in the untaxed car in order to attend the meeting and upheld Cllr Bicknell’s complaint.

They told Cllr Davies-Dear that he was banned from driving untaxed vehicles on council property and that they would post a public notice detailing the circumstances of the complaint and the committee’s judgement in the Echo – which was published last week.

Cllr Davies-Dear , who is up for re-election in May, emphasised to Eastleigh News that he had been found guilty  despite there being no criminal case to answer and accused the Lib Dems of pursuing a personal vendetta against his party.

“That is local politics these days. I never thought of LIB Dems as the “Nasty Party” until last year when their true nature showed itself.

“You have to appreciate that, when a party gets so big that there is no real opposition, it begins eating itself.”

A Lib Dem councillor- who did not wish to be named commented:

“It’s sad really, after years of service to the community that it should end like this”

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  15 comments for “Ex Lib Dem Mayor in Road Tax censure

  1. Keith Trenchard
    March 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Nice photo did you not have any photos of the other councillors from the Christmas parade? I see that i have been demoted from Operations Manager to driver or is this an oversight?

    Kind Regards

    Keith Trenchard

  2. Stephen Slominski
    March 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Eh ..Christmas parade? Grrr…I was assured this was your masonic regalia!!!

    Better tell Chris I want my 25 quid back!!!

    Do you not have a cat D licence then? I do apologise. I certainly hope you aren’t one of these office wallahs telling drivers how to do the job!

  3. D I S Smith
    March 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Really nice photo – fully illustrates the extent Lib Dem megalomania, only surprised it wasn’t a little Napoleon outfit – would have suited Cllr Trenchard to a T.

  4. keith trenchard
    March 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Hahaha very good masonic regalia!!! no sorry to say its not but you knew that didn’t you ,but on the other hand it might be now ive not been since the election , no time any more and yes your right i have a D+E cat licence and yes i do tell them what to do . but you knew that didn’t you? £25 quid! its free on the social networks lol

    Regards,

    Keith Trenchard

  5. Peter Stewart
    March 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    These days it is so easy to forget to fill in one form or another. That burden must be so much greater for councillors who have so much more paperwork. This once great country is paralysed by red tape. I sympathize with Glynn. In the past I’ve inadvertently driven with an expired tax disc. I’m sure we all have. Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are indebted to us!

  6. Anne Romaine
    March 12, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Like Peter I inadvertently drove with an expired tax disc last year. As an ex Lib Dem voter I suppose I was just lucky that 3 Lib Dem Borough Councillors weren’t lying in wait to film my journey.

  7. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    March 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

    It was the length of time that the car had been untaxed or without a SORN that resulted in the censure although Cllr Davies-Dear did attempt to account for this – his explanation was not accepted.

    I forgot to put a link to the investigation and hearing minutes so I’ll put that right here.

    http://tinyurl.com/7d6v7tl

    http://tinyurl.com/6nt2txp

  8. Chris Thomas
    March 13, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Thank you for posting the report, it makes the story better balanced. I am sure that many have “forgotten” an annual re-tax of their car but, 6 months or more is pushing one’s luck a bit far. If the police had caught him, he would have faced heavy fines and probably had his car seized.

    He has admitted that he was not insured on that day and clearly he can prove he was at the MOT station for a test as all tests pass or fail are now recorded on the DVLA website.

    At his interview and at the hearing, with only one lib dem on the panel, he failed to produce any documents to back up his case.

    Finally, having seen the results of someone injured by an uninsured driver, I would happily report anyone to the police and DVLA to remove the menace from the road.

    • F J Thompson
      March 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      How kind of Cllr Thomas to save a fellow councillor from fines and having his car seized. How very neighbourly, even if it meant following the gentleman around and filming as he was tailed by three upright citizens with no axe to grind (LOL).

      Cllr Thomas – I didn’t realise that injuries from an uninsured driver were so much worse than those inflicted by an insured driver. I’ve learnt something reading this…

      I have also learnt that Eastleigh Council is made up of pathetic, mean minded, frustrated individuals who should be working for Benefit Fraud rather than hard pressed tax payers.

      • Chris Thomas
        March 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm

        You wont be surprised that I disagree with you. I certainly dint save him any fines, he was just lucky not to be caught.

        Unfortunately, I do have experince of this. an uninsured driver may not injure you more than an insured one, however, it may take years to get compensation and certainly less, from the uninsured Motor Board, for which we all pay as an excess on out insurance bills, some reports suggest up to 100 pounds a year.

        I would report any uninsured driver and I hope you would too.

  9. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    March 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Reporting unlicenesed vehicles to the police DVLA dosen’t always get you the result you might expect- as you discovered.

    The police would certainly take action if they stopped you while you were driving an untaxed vehicle – and they had a successful purge in Eastleigh recently. But if the vehicle is parked up then it’s the responsibility of the DVLA – and you won’t get then to take action without having to chase them first.
    It took a couple of months of persistent calls and emails before an untaxed vehicle parked outside my house was seized.

  10. IWILLNEVERVOTELIBDEMAGAIN
    March 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I have just read all the reports on this issue including those in the DAILY ECHO and the CHRONICLE (I think the Dailies might be picking this up). Whatever justification the above Cllrs think they have for filming another, they comes across as vindictive, self important, unintelligent and childish. Not the sort of people we want representing us, certainly.

    Should all dis-affected/tactical/ex Lib Dem voters forward copies of their tax discs to Eastleigh council offices to avoid these incidents? Of course it was pure co-incidence that they happened to have a camera with them – begs the question, why?

    Cllrs THOMAS, BICKNELL and TRENCHARD sound like really nasty pieces of work and in trying to get one over on a former colleague they come across as pathetic, small minded and in need of serious professional help.

    • Stephen Slominski
      March 17, 2012 at 11:53 am

      I understand what you’re saying but do bear in mind if you own a motor vehicle the law expects you to either tax it or make a sorn declaration and it would appear Cllr Davies-Dear had neither.
      We should expect our Cllrs to obey the law, shouldn’t we?

  11. uwot
    March 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I dont know if the councilor is guilty or not, neither do you and neither do the council as he was NOT tried in a court and is therefore INNOCENT.
    What I do know is nobody likes a backstabber and this stunt is going to backfire on them badly.

  12. IWILLNEVERVOTELIBDEMAGAIN
    March 18, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I think Mr Slominski may be missing the point.

    Councillors laying in wait to film someone who has stood against their party is not edifying. It simply illustrates a malevolent vindictiveness which they chose to manifest in a childish way. The Ridiculous Three: Cllrs THOMAS, BICKNELL and TRENCHARD have shown their true colours and are clearly not sufficiently adult to represent an electorate.

    As Uwot has quite rightly pointed out, there was not a crime to answer. These three have acted like silly little playground bullies. Think on Messrs THOMAS, BICKNELL and TRENCHARD – it is you who have bought your Party into disrepute.

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