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Election fraud councillor dumped from committees

Election fraud councillor dumped from committees

Councillors on Perth and Kinross Council have censured a colleague who was fined for election fraud by unanimously removing him from all the committees on which he served.

In addition, they agreed to strip all appointments to external bodies from Councillor Alan Jack.

Wednesday’s emergency motion was put forward by council leader Ian Miller as the only sanction available to councillors after Mr Jack, 74, of The Stables, Bridge of Earn, refused to resign.

Calls were made for him to go when he was fined £450 at Perth Sheriff Court for exceeding the maximum limit for election expenses.

He had admitted surpassing his election budget by £850.64 between March 22 and May 26 last year.

Mr Miller said he brought the emergency motion before the full council with “some regret”.

“If Councillor Jack had taken the honourable action and resigned his seat following conviction, this would not have been necessary,” said Mr Miller.

“There is no personal malice in this my actions are to protect the integrity of this council and the electoral process.”

Mr Miller said that if action was not taken there could be a “free for all” at the next election, with people not abiding by the rules.

He said that due to a “flaw” in the legislation in Scotland, Mr Jack could not be disqualified as a councillor, as he would have been if his offence had taken place in England.

Mr Jack had declined to resign, so Mr Miller was suggesting this course.

“This is the maximum sanction available to us,” said Mr Miller. “I implore you to support this motion.”

Without further debate, the entire council unanimously agreed to support Mr Miller’s motion.

Mr Jack sat impassively at the meeting while his fate was discussed and left before the council business was finished, making no comment.

The councillors then agreed who should replace Mr Jack on the various committees and bodies on which he had served.

Dave Cuthbert was appointed to the development management committee, Michael Barnacle to the enterprise and infrastructure committee, and Alan Livingstone to the external body TAYplan.

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