A COMPLAINT has been lodged by a taxpayer over Brent Council’s former deputy leader.

Roger Brown, 55, of East Lane, Wembley, contacted Brent Council’s director of legal and procurement Fiona Ledden over concerns about a planning meeting held on February 12, at which the application to expand Wembley
High Technology College (WHTC) by adding a primary school was approved.

Councillor Ruth Moher, a Labour ward councillor for Fryent, spoke in favour of the scheme as a backbench councillor but Mr Brown believes she should have declared a prejudicial interest and left the room during the debate and decision because she is a governor of the school, in East Lane, Wembley.

The published meeting minutes do not record Mrs Moher, formerly deputy leader of the council and currently lead member for children, declaring an interest but they do note in passing she was a school governor.

Minutes from the February 12 planning committee where the expansion of Wembley High Technology College was approved
Minutes from the February 12 planning committee where the expansion of Wembley High Technology College was approved
 

Mr Brown, who lives close to the school and is one of the objectors to the plans, said: “I believe the residents have been treated disgracefully with these plans to build what will possibly be the largest school in England, in an area with an abundance of schools already.

“The application in terms of need goes against all the council’s own figures and published planning statements and is opposed by Sport England for the loss of the majority of the playing fields.

“Residents were not consulted in February 2013, although the council claimed we were, but are unable to say which houses [the consultation notices] were delivered to. The whole planning process has been a whitewash.

“I have been astounded finding the latest information with regard to the directors of WHTC, which is why I have asked the council to investigate.”

The meeting minutes show planning committee member councillor Harbhajan Singh did declare an interest in the college application because he lives close to the school and he left the meeting room and took no part in the discussion.

Mrs Moher’s husband, former Labour councillor Jim Moher, is also a governor of WHTC but was neither a planning committee member nor did he speak.

Fiona Ledden, the council’s director of legal and procurement said: “We can confirm that we have received a complaint in respect of Councillor Moher.

“Brent Council takes any complaints very seriously.

“Any potential breaches of the code of conduct by members are carefully considered and dealt with in accordance with our formal procedure.”