Thursday, 13 February 2014

UKIP Crawley Councillor pockets £512 per hour for a whole year of Council meetings

Good times - UKIP Councillor Karl Williamson (right) 
Ask any Councillor in Crawley (Conservative or Labour) as to who they believe does the least work out of all 37 Crawley Borough Councillors and ask who they hardly ever see, and the same name is likely to come up. That name is Karl Williamson who is the UKIP Councillor for Southgate, who along with Lee Gilroy left the Conservatives in July under a very dark cloud. This followed a huge 98% No Confidence vote in both of them by the Crawley Conservative Association after a widely-perceived failed takeover attempt of the Crawley party. Just three months later, they subsequently succeeded in taking over Crawley UKIP by using the same disreputable tactics of smearing an innocent colleague to try and seize their position 

Many Crawley Councillors suspect that Cllr Williamson effectively gave up the role of being a Councillor many months ago, but that he is continuing to pocket the allowance that is paid by Crawley Borough Council for performing the role. I have heard other Councillors say that they believe Cllr Williamson is spending most of his spare time living it up and staying with friends some 5450 miles away in Los Angeles California, or that he may even be living in LA, as opposed to serving as a Councillor in Crawley and representing his forgotten Southgate constituents. As cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic, it is conceivable that he could stay on in LA after working on flights or that he gets very cheap flights there on his off-days, or could that be occasional cheap flights to the UK from his LA home?

As far as I know, Cllr Williamson was last seen at a Council meeting two months ago on December 18th. While meetings are not the only part of a Councillor’s workload, myself and other Councillors see no evidence whatsoever of anything else being done in his capacity as a Councillor. Other Southgate Councillors tell me that they never see him in Southgate and that he virtually never attends the Southgate Community Forum.

In desperation, some UKIP people might point to his very dubious weekly Crawley Observer column as evidence of some activity. However, most people I talk to at the town hall share my view that it is actually Lee Gilroy writing what can only be described as bile, on the odd occasions that it isn’t the usual plagiarised rubbish from the UKIP national website, which the Crawley Observer shamefully continues to be silent about.    

UKIP are renowned for being a party full of bogus claims, inaccuracies and rank hypocrisy. Such examples include claiming their Councillors work harder than those from other parties and that they aren’t interested in claiming allowances. They also like to infer that other parties’ Councillors are ‘on the make’ when in reality, most Councillors I know do work hard. In Crawley, this bile has been spouted by Cllr Williamson and by UKIP’s new Chairman Lee Gilroy, who has also publicly stated that he wants to be UKIP’s parliamentary candidate. Let’s check their accuracy and the record of UKIP’s only ever Councillor in Crawley, by documenting what meetings Cllr Williamson has attended over the last year from today (13th Feb 2014 back to 14th Feb 2013) and how long those meeting were. All this information is freely available on the Crawley Borough Council website.

18th December 2013 - Full Council - 230 minutes (he left early)

12th November 2013 - Licensing - 60 minutes

26th September 2013 - Full Council - 155 minutes

10th July 2013 - Cabinet - 77 minutes

24th May 2013 - Annual Council - 46 minutes

3rd April 2013 - Full Council - 220 minutes

20th March 2013 - Cabinet - 97 minutes

27th February 2013 - Full Council - 195 minutes

That is it, although I'm happy to be corrected if there is anything to add. These 8 meetings that he turned up to in an entire year add up to 1080 minutes which is exactly 18 hours. Cllr Williamson has presumably received all of his annual basic allowance of £5949 plus no doubt claimed 5.5 months of an annual special responsibility allowance of £7138 from mid-February to the end of July which is a further £3271.58. Therefore in the last 12 months he will have received £9220.58 from Crawley taxpayers and attended 8 meetings totalling 18 hours for an entire year. This equates to £1152.57 per meeting or £512.25 for each hour of his 18-hour-year.

I see no evidence that Cllr Williamson has done anything at all in the last two months as a Councillor - other than presumably receive two month’s payment totalling £991.50. This situation really is disgraceful and therefore I publicly call upon Karl Williamson to do the decent thing and resign as a Councillor so that Southgate can have an active and dedicated Councillor to represent the neighbourhood. This would enable a by-election (at no extra cost to the taxpayer) to be held on the 22nd of May, at the same time as the existing Council and European elections. Southgate really does deserve better than UKIP. 

Update 15th February - he has threatened legal action. 


Anonymous said...

Ukip claim to be different from Lib/Lab/Con yet have their snouts in the trough more than anyone! Ukip are a joke and this councillor should go.

Anonymous said...

Its not the first time he has had poor attendance - did he not in his first year have less than 50% attendance - you should know, he was a member of your group and it didn't seem a problem when it came to making him a cabinet member following that

Anonymous said...

Cllr Crow, I don't want to believe this because I was a Conservative but decided to vote Ukip & live in Southgate. Your post has made me angry.Our Cllr has truly betrayed the people of Southgate! Will I vote Ukip again, never!

Richard W Symonds said...

Councillor Williamson is bringing shame upon both Crawley Borough Council and the town of Crawley. It is my intention to force a Southgate byelection with a petition of Southgate voters. If he doesn't go, I will be standing as an Independent for Southgate on an anti UKIP/Williamson ticket.

Richard W Symonds,
Independent Candidate for Southgate.

Mark said...

Was it Cass Elliot whom Michael Jackson got the idea for the moonwalk from?

Richard W Symonds said...

Tomorrow I will start knocking on doors in Southgate for my petition to force a Southgate byelection. If I can get a 1000 signatures and submit it to Crawley Borough Council, it is laid down in the Council's constitution that it must be debated at the next full meeting of the Council.

Richard W Symonds,
Independent candidate for Southgate.

Richard W Symonds said...

I spent a rather soggy afternoon door knocking in Southgate today but met some nice people. Of those who answered the door about 2/3rds were willing to sign which is a high ratio when I think of other petitions I have knocked on doors for. Some were grateful for me calling after I explained what was going in. One retired couple were UKIP supporters but still felt it right there should be a byelection. Some Tory voters felt very cheated at the defection. Not one person today had ever seen their UKIP Councillor other than in the paper although Southgate is a big area so I will give it time. I have 43 signatures so far which was a big effort and I could do with some help to reach 1000. If anyone is willing to lend a hand please email me at (preferred communication - I am very deaf)

Richard W Symonds
Independent candidate for Southgate

Richard W Symonds said...

Another 35 signature this afternoon taking the total to 78. It is going to be a hard slog to reach 1000 for a council full meeting debate, or 500 for a debate at the council's overview and scrutiny committee.

There is heartening news which is that the UAF (Unite Against Fascism) have been in touch and are keen to help me get the signatures and spread the anti racist and anti UKIP (BNP in suits) message in Southgate. Faliure to act will allow Williamson et al to bully the people of Southgate with their extremist ideology. They must be stopped. To quote the famous last words of George Orwell, don't let it happen, it depends on you!

Richard W Symonds
Independent candidate for Southgate

Andy said...

He does live in LA. He splits his time between LA, the Caribbean and England. He's just spent a week in St Lucia.

Anonymous said...

Karl Williamson was again absent from full council this week - nothing important, just the annual setting of the budget and deciding how much council tax we all pay. Remember, if you are tempted to ever be stupid enough to vote UKIP, this is the kind of dedication to the role of Cllr you can expect. Also absent again was Southgate Tory Cllr Liam Marshall-Ascough whose equally low attendance was raised in the local press last summer, when he went on a media-crazed ego-trip in trying to become the leader of Crawley Borough Council - only to discover he was unable to find two of his Tory colleagues prepared to propose and second his nomination. #epicfail

Duncan Crow said...

Two weeks on and Karl Williamson's threats of legal action appear to be exactly what I predicted, threats and bluster.

Nothing has happened. Neither Duncan Peck or I have received anything in the post with a California postmark.

Anonymous said...

After a year of doing nothing but claiming his councillor allowance, Williamson finally resigned on the 29th of August. How many meetings did he attend from when he joined UKIP until he resigned?