After the sentencing of Saddleworth Parish Councillor Mike Buckley after being found guilty of downloading indecent pictures of young boys to his computer, within a matter of hours, Saddleworth Parish Council’s Chairman issued a request asking him to resign
Parish Chairman Councillor Allsopp wrote:
Following the conviction of Councillor Buckley in December 2015, and the sentence passed on him today, it is my personal opinion that it would be inappropriate for Councillor Buckley to continue to serve as a councillor on Saddleworth Parish Council. I have subsequently invited him to tender his resignation.
I believe this is in the best interests of all concerned. Furthermore, it is my intention to refer the matter to the Borough Solicitor for investigation under the Members’ Code of Conduct.
Following on from that, every other group from the Parish Council also issued a statement:
Alan Belmore, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the Parish Council wrote:
Mike Buckley must resign as a councillor for the good of Saddleworth. He has put his own ego before the needs of the people he was elected by by remaining as a councillor even after being found guilty.
If Buckley refuses to do the honourable thing we will move a motion of no confidence in him at the next Parish Council meeting and demand that Buckley’s Independent Group finally disowns him.
Anyone found guilty of the offences Mike Buckley was convicted for is not fit to be a councillor
John Hudson, Conservative Parish Councillor wrote:
I agree with action taken by the Chairman
Robert Knotts, Independent Parish Councillor wrote:
Councillor Buckley’s conviction is a sad episode in his long standing contribution to public service.
Throughout his long term service as both a Borough and a Parish Councillor with the Liberal Democrats and recently as an Independent, Councillor Buckley has been noted for his dedication to his work within the Borough and the Parish. However his conviction could seriously undermine his position with the Parish Council, his colleagues and those he represents.
As a result of his conviction Councillor Buckley, in our opinion, has violated a Councillor’s Code of Conduct.
Therefore our position is that as Independent councillors we disassociate ourselves from Councillor Buckley.
Parish Councillor R Knotts
Borough and Parish Councillor N Kirkham
Parish Councillor K Lucas MBE
Parish Councillor K Roman
Parish Councillor G Bayley
Parish Councillor L Brown
Paul Fryer, Labour Parish Councillor wrote:
The two Labour Parish Councillors deplore in the strongest possible terms the actions of Cllr Mike Buckley. Indeed since the beginning of the year Cllr Steve Hewitt has refused to attend meetings at which Cllr Buckley has participated. We believe that it would be in the best interests of the Council and of Mike himself if he was to resign his seat. The nature of his offences make this not only desirable, but in our view inevitable. If Cllr Buckley does not resign, then we believe that he should at least be removed from all committees and posts that he has on the council, and will consider putting a motion to the next full council to that effect.
Saddleworth Parish Council Labour Group
Even though councillor Buckley has now been found guilty and each of these Parish councillors have called for him to resign, he is under no obligation to do so and could remain in office until he is up for re-election in 2019
Mike Buckley released a statement today saying,
“I do not wish to comment on the sentence. Individuals’ views on whether I should stand down from the parish council are just that – their views. I do not intent to enter into a sparing match with other members of the Parish Council, Oldham Council or other politicians, who may choose to express their opinions on my conviction. My responsibility is to those who elected me to the Council. I intend to carrying on doing that to the best of my abilities. I intend to continue my work on the Parish Council defending and promoting the best interest of Saddleworth, commenting and helping on heritage and planning issues and working on the many improvement projects that I am presently engaged in.”
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