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Council spends £10,000 to discover who 'baaed' at meeting


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Council spends £10,000 to discover who 'baaed' at meeting


Last updated at 13:36pm on 13th October 2006

sheepPA220906_228x290.jpgWoolly thinking? A councillor made farm noises during a meeting





Council bosses have spent £10,000 in a bid to establish who baaed like a sheep during a planning meeting.

Havering council, based at Romford, Essex, has forked out the sum over the last 12 months on a 300-page report into the bizarre incident. But the chief suspect is no longer a councillor and therefore cannot be punished.

A council insider said today: "This is absolute madness. We've wasted a load of money and a lot of time on a councillor who baaed like a sheep - and we've got absolutely nowhere."

The incident occurred during an application by Stonebridge-Farm in Rainham to build a mobile home on its site - where they keep rare breeds of sheep and horses - to stop vandals and intruders. A male councillor impersonated the sheep during the hearing in September last year.

As a result outraged councillor Jeff Tucker, who represents Rainham and Wennington Residents, reported the Regulatory Services Committee to the Standards Board for England for its conduct.

A month later the Standards Board referred the case back to the council. Officers have been gathering evidence ever since. The suspects have been narrowed down to councillors Barry Oddy, Eric Munday, Barry Tebbutt and former councillor Denis O'Flynn.

They will be quizzed by Havering's standards hearings sub-committee on 22 November. The council source added: "It has probably cost £10,000 in officers' time and solicitors' fees for this insane investigation."

Mr Oddy refused to comment before next month's hearing and Mr Tebbutt and Mr Munday were unavailable for comment.

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