Group Statement: Formal complaint to be submitted after slow, unfair and expensive process

After two years, Cllr Keith Aspden has been found to have not breached the council code of conduct for a range of unfounded allegations, following a long-awaited public hearing and extensive cross examination. The councillor will not face any sanctions.

Following the slow and expensive processes, for which the council has confirmed costs to date of £84,000 on external investigators, the Liberal Democrat Group met yesterday evening. The Group has now agreed to submit a formal complaint to the Council; in order to seek reassurances, question the level of council taxpayers money spent, raise administrative and procedural queries and demand urgent improvements.

A handover period will now begin with Cllr Andrew Waller, after the Liberal Democrat group decided to restore Cllr Keith Aspden as deputy leader of the council in March 2019. Cllr Andrew Waller will continue to serve as Executive Member for the Environment.

Cllr Ann Reid MBE, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat group stated:

“Liberal Democrat councillors, including Cllr Waller and Cllr Aspden as our group leader, have continued to act in the best interests of the city and our local communities throughout this process. We are very pleased that after nearly two years, this part is finally over.”

“We will now be submitting a formal complaint to the council. It is abundantly clear that there are questions to answer following this process and the council must ensure that we all learn from the badly handled, public, politicised and slow process, paid for by council taxpayers, which is not yet finished for Cllr Nigel Ayre.”

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, added:

“I am very grateful and thank the many people who have supported me throughout this unpleasant experience; including friends, family, colleagues and residents. I have never had to deal with a process like this in my professional, council or personal life. I sincerely hope that lessons are learnt and improvements made.”

“Looking forward to March, I am more determined than ever to ensure that residents and local communities across York receive good quality and efficient services from the council, which reflect local people’s priorities”.

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