Councillors remain under investigation after appeal
FOUR Torbay and Brixham councillors remain under investigation after two of the port's residents appealed against a decision which cleared them of any wrongdoing.
Sue and Michael Furminger, two lawyers living in Brixham, decided to contest the decision by Torbay Council's standards board into whether Cllrs Mike Morey, Vic Ellery, Jackie Stockman and Matthew James were right to cast their vote on the future of the town hall.
All four councillors took part in a vote during a Brixham Town Council meeting to see the transfer of the asset from Torbay Council to the smaller authority.
The Furmingers believe they were wrong to do so and their vote should have been null because they did not declare an interest when voting and said they were Torbay councillors too.
Mr and Mrs Furmingers believe that if they had declared an interest, they would not have been allowed to vote and the decision to take over the town hall would have been different.
However, following an inquiry into the matter, the four councillors were cleared of any wrong doing.
The Furmingers have now appealed that decision and an investigation will look into the standards probe.
They said: "This investigation was ordered on June 18. It's time to get on with it. Torbay Council's own rules say it should have been launched on June 21. We're almost two weeks behind that timetable.
"Both councils had an interest in this transfer.
"Brixham Council's decision to accept the transfer of the Town Hall shifts a major financial burden from Torbay Council on to the council tax payers of Brixham.
"People have questioned whether that decision was taken properly. That's why an independent investigation is necessary.
"We are glad an independent committee has ordered an investigation into these matters."
"The position is far from satisfactory and Torbay Council needs to get this investigation going."
Cllr Morey said it was the Furmingers' right to go through any appeal process.
He added: "We have done everything by the book. We sought legal advice and followed that advice properly throughout.
"I feel this is a waste of tax payers' money."
A Torbay Council spokesman said: "The matter was considered by the standards review sub committee who have asked that the matter be investigated so that they can decide whether a hearing should take place or that no further action is required."