THE Labour councillor at the centre of the late-payment of council tax scandal should come forward for the good of their colleagues, a long-serving public servant has said.
On Friday, The Bolton News revealed Conservative councillor, Mudasir Dean, the other politician to be summonsed to court, after he also failed to pay his council tax on time, had been suspended by his party.
Tory chiefs have now also launched an investigation into Cllr Dean’s actions amid allegations he lied about attending a Bolton Council budget meeting.
Both councillors have now paid in full.
But the spotlight is now on Labour, with the party’s councillors outraged at having the finger pointed at them and their integrity questioned.
A Labour source has approached The Bolton News in the hope that the person involved will come forward and put a stop to speculation over who was involved.
They said: “I think it is unfair that this councillor has not come forward and is instead allowing the spotlight of blame to be cast on colleagues who do not deserve it.
“I would strongly urge the individual to come forward and admit it.
“You have 38 Labour councillors who are not involved in this and, despite being hard-working public servants who got into politics to help people, they are being tarred with an unpleasant brush.
“One person has the ability to put a stop to it. For the good of their colleagues, they should come forward.”
A Bolton News investigation revealed two councillors were twice ordered to go to court after failing to pay a total of £4,660 on time.
Over 21 months we asked three authorities for permission to name the pair, but they refused and one, the First Tier Tribunal, said it would infringe their human rights.
Our investigation revealed the Labour councillor was summoned to court at some point between May 2011 and April 2012 for not paying £936 in council tax.
The summons was withdrawn after they paid the bill in full.
The councillor was then summoned to court again at some point between May 2012 and April 2013 for not paying £1,039.89 in council tax.
The summons was withdrawn after they entered into a payment plan with Bolton Council.
By October 2013, they had paid off £600 of that debt.
Legally, the councillor would have not been able to vote on the council’s budget in either of those two years.
The issue could come to a head when Labour holds a group meeting in the next fortnight.
Bolton Council and Labour leader, Cllr Cliff Morris, said he did not want to add to his comments made on the matter earlier in the week when he said: “I do not know who the councillor is.
“We will be discussing the matter at the group meeting and, if the person involved is there, it is up to them to decide what the best course of action is.”