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Politics

Charles Bayram: Where is the Accountability?

CAMPAIGNERS CALL FOR TORY COUNCILLOR BAYRAM TO RESIGN

Local campaigners are calling on Howden ward councillor Charles Bayram to resign after he refused to take responsibility for bringing the council into disrepute.

An investigation by East Riding of Yorkshire Council found that the reputation of the local authority was damaged after Tory councillor Mr Bayram had his driveway resurfaced at the expense of council tax payers.

Hundreds of Howden residents signed street and online petitions calling for Mr Bayram’s resignation after it was revealed that he persuaded a council contractor to lay a 40-metre driveway outside his North Cave farm free of charge.

The incident happened just weeks after the Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness Graham Stuart became embroiled in a similar controversy after his wife persuaded a different contractor to resurface a road outside their home.

Residents are now also calling on East Riding of Yorkshire Council to publish a policy on the issue to prevent anything like this happening again.

While Mr Bayram accepts the report’s findings that the council has been brought into disrepute following the incident, he refuses to take responsibility for this himself.

Instead he has laid the blame at the feet of local campaigners and the media for their “adverse” reaction and council officials for the way they handled the case.

Local campaigner Matt Gibson said: “This case has dragged on for long enough. We want our elected councillor to either own up and justify why he felt he could have this work done for free whilst the rest of us would have to get quotes and raise the finance, or resign and face the voters in a by election.”

Howden Labour Party chair, Colin Turner, said: “I am concerned that there is no due process for dealing with left over tarmac. Considering the dreadful state of the pavements and roads in and around Howden there must be a more coherent plan for getting the maximum value for money from council tax funded re-surfacing projects.

“I am personally appalled that a local politician has blatantly used the fact that he is a councillor to have free work done to his property without realising that people have a right to question his judgement. He should resign immediately. This calls into question local democracy and whether or not it is really accountable to the people it is meant to serve.”   

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About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.

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