Following Pembrokeshire County Council’s decision to call in the police to investigate my concerns about the grants schemes in Pembroke and Pembroke Dock, I have put down a motion of no confidence in Cabinet member Cllr David Pugh.
At the December meeting of full council, Cllr Pugh launched a savage personal attack during which he accused me of telling “deliberate untruths” and “not being interested in the truth” where the grant schemes were concerned.
He also complained to the Ombudsman that I was bringing the council and the office of councillor into disrepute by making “unjustified and unsubstantiated” claims about the probity of the administration of the grant schemes and that “I had wilfully ignored all the evidence” that everything was in order.
He told the Ombudsman: “Cllr Stoddart’s intransigence on this issue would be amusing were it not for the fact that it has cost the authority a considerable amount of officer time to prove he is misleading the public.”
Fortunately, the Ombudsman kicked his complaint firmly but politely into touch.
The full text of his complaint to the Ombudsman can be read below.
In the event, it turned out that almost everything he told full council on December 12 was untrue.
Indeed, within a few days of that meeting, he was forced to issue an “unreserved apology” over his false claims about a “third side elevation” at number 25 Dimond Street Pembroke Dock when I proved that it existed only in his imagination.
When challenged about other claims he made during that meeting, he replied that he didn’t wish to continue the dialogue.
Well, it now transpires that it was not me who was “misleading the public”, but Cllr Pugh and whoever was filling his head with false information.
He told the Ombudsman that he was lodging the complaint against me because “The people of Pembrokeshire deserve better.”
It is for the same reason that I have put down a motion of no confidence in Cllr Pugh.
And I have the advantage of having the facts on my side.
He concluded his complaint to the Ombudsman: “I am sure the majority of my fellow councillors and a great many council officers will be able to confirm my account as being a correct account of his behaviour.
While he’s wrong about his being the correct account, you can’t rule out the possibility that he will have the backing of a majority of his fellow councillors i.e. the 33 IPPG stooges, in Thursday’s vote.