New scandal for South Norfolk Tories - Another Conservative Councillor drink driver

I seem to have missed THIS story about another (yes another) South Norfolk Conservative Councillor who has been caught drink driving.

This time, County and District Councillor Stella Tilcock (who prefers to be known as Stella Rice) has been up to no good.

Of course theinteresting thing is that another South Norfolk Councillor, Keith Tilcock was similarly found guilty of drink driving (and worse) just a few months before. What is it with Tory Councillors called Tilcock in South Norfolk

Like this time, the Tories talked about suspending Keith Tilcock "temporarily", but soon let him back in to their political group. One wonders what sanctions the Tories will actually take against Cllr Stella Tilcock (Rice) when they set such a poor precedent last time.

You have to ask why it is that South Norfolk Tories talk so tough on crime but when people in their own party act so badly they send out the wrong message by completely failing to act tough on them.

Update - There is also a rumour that another South Norfolk Tory is also in court in the next few weeks on another charge. What a good example this lot set to the people of South Norfolk.


Iain Dale said...

Nich, I learned long ago never to touch "local councillor in court case drama" stories, because you can be sure there are similar cases from the other parties.

Indeed, you don't have to look very far in Norfolk for LibDem councillors who have had a spot of trouble with the law lately (Town Close, anyone?).

Antony said...

Aren't Stella and Keith married which is why they share the same surname??? I understand your point Nich but be careful about this sort of post because all parties in all councils have skeletons in cupboards etc. Don't get me wrong, I hate drink driving but this isn't a South Norfolk alone problem.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Iain, Its not just down to what has been done by the councillor, but also to do with the way the council groups deal with the people involved.

I can say that if anyone had done this in the Lib Dem group when i was a councillor i would have moved for their removal from the group. Indeed, we removed one councillor from our group for something which was not criminal, but was far below the standards we expected from a councillor and soemthing whuch later went before the standards board.

Interestingly the Tories on North Norfolk did not take similar action against a Tory who was accused of worse.

As for the one in Norwich, didn't they resign ?

Antony said...

Iain - that would be Thorpe Hamlet. The first LibDem councillor very sadly committed suicide around a child abuse charge and the next one was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and drink driving! I would add that the current 3 ward Councillors for Thorpe Hamlet seem decent and honest people (one of them is Lord Mayor)! In fact, now I think about it, then LibDem Leader Ian Couzens took precious little action about them at the time too.

Antony said...

Nich - she did quit the council but stayed as a LibDem until the end.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Antony, the full deatails of the "child abuse" case were known by many on the council at the time, and if you knew the full facts, you'd be slightly embarrassed that you raised the issue.

I know that Labour did not raise the issue or seek to make alegations agains trh dead man at the subsequent by-election because they knew the "back story" and that this was a very sad case indeed.

As for the fraudulent councillor, had I been blogging then I would ahve similarly demanded her resignation.

The real test here though is what will the Tories do if a third councillor is convicted in less than one year and what is the point of a temporary suspension ?

I have pointed out that a Lib Dem group in Norfolk has taken action for less in the past.

Antony said...

But not the one in Norwich? She remained a LibDem until the point that she quit - is that not right?

Dan said...

Stella's been removed as a deputy cabinet member at the county council because of this.

Letters From A Tory said...

Would it be too bold to suggest that people who commit a criminal offence while in office are automatically removed and banned from entering elected office ever again?

Norfolk Blogger said...

For a teacher I would suggest Antony you do not read very well.

I'll quote again what I wrote above.

"As for the fraudulent councillor, had I been blogging then I would have similarly demanded her resignation."

Is that clear enough Antony ?

StuartR said...

As a uncommitted voter (that doesn't mean I have uncommitted views, simply that no party comes close enough to my balance of views to guarantee my support) I have no axe to grind for any party although I tend to lean towards the Conservatives.

What annoys me intensely is the way that a significant proportion of politicians seem willing to leave their personal standards behind once they take office.

What also annoys me however is the demand that our politicians are held to a higher standard than we would hold ourselves to. I understand the whole thing about choosing to stand for public office, and the need to maintain(assuming there is any left ?)public trust in politicians, but if an offense does not significantly impact someones ability to perform their role, or is not sufficiently serious in the eyes of the law, is it really necessary for every politician to be forced out of office for every offence?

Having said that, I would worry about those councils / parties / wards etc. where behaviour such as this almost seem to be the norm. Whats the phrase? Something like : Once is a mistake. Twice is careless. Thrice. well thats just extremely suspicious.

Could I forgive an individual? Probably. Could I forgive institutionalised failure of standards? Probably Not

Anonymous said...

Redaers of the above comments should note that the second Lib Dem Cllr in Thorpe Hamlet, whom Anthony says 'stayed a Lib Dem till the end' protested her innocence of drink driving and was therefore backed by the group leader. When she was eventually convicted of perverting the course of justice, she was immediately forced by the Lib Dems to resign as a Councillor (even though some still believed in her innocence) and a by-election was held. Stella Rice, the Tory Cllr to whom Nich's story refers, was well over three times the drink drive limit, and is now being supervised by the probation service, yet she still continues to serve as a Tory Cllr (on two different councils), as does her (now ex) husband, also a convicted drink-driver, who was caught urinating in the grounds of the local hospital. Methinks Anthony and Iain should check facts before posting misleading comments.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Tories applying different standards to others than their own ? Surely not.

Antony said...

Anon; methinks you ought to look deeper into the case. Hers wasn't just a drink drive case. Go do some more research and come back when you know the full story.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I seem to recall it was attempting to pervert the course of justice, but I am happy to be corrected if I am wrong..

However Antony, you fail to note the point that once found guilty, she was kicked out of the Lib Dem group yet Tories in South Norfolk never seem to suffer a similar fate.

Why do they apply such poor standards ?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Nich. And Anthony, do READ the posts before replying to them. I wrote: 'When she was eventually convicted of perverting the course of justice, she was immediately forced by the Lib Dems to resign as a Councillor.' I am happy to be corrected if wrong, but as I recall, the basic facts were that she arrived home, the police burst in (rather mob handed, by all accounts), breathalysed her and charged her with drink driving. She denied it on the basis that she had had a drink after arriving home. She was eventually convicted of perverting the course of justice because the court found that she had persuaded the babysitter to lie on her behalf, a claim she still denies to this day, so far as I'm aware. The case dragged on for more than 2years, and given the way she was treated by the police, and the quality of the original evidence, some senior local LDs clearly thought she deserved the benefit of the doubt - until she was convicted of perverting justice, when she was swiftly asked to resign and a by-election was held. There were also other unfortunate aspects to the case - the barrister appointed on her behalf was himself arrested on another charge during the case!
If you know more than this, please let me know.