CLLR ROB CURTIS IS SUSPENDED FROM VALE AND BARRY COUNCILS

The Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust says it no longer employs Vale Cllr Rob Curtis (Labour Gibbonsdown Ward, Barry)

Former Vale ‘cabinet’ member Cllr Rob Curtis (Labour Gibbonsdown Ward,Barry)  is to be suspended for three months from the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Barry Town Council for having brought his office as councillor into disrepute

As from today former Vale of Glamorgan Council ‘cabinet’ member Rob Curtis (Labour Gibbonsdown Ward, Barry) – who was convicted of common assault on a 17-year-old girl last year – is being suspended  from both the Vale Council and Barry Town Council.

The suspension will last three months, after which the Vale Council has declared that  Curtis will be allowed to resume his seat on the council.

The suspension follows the decision of the Adjudication Panel for Wales which has announced that Cllr Curtis has brought his office as a councillor into “disrepute”.

Cllr Rob Curtis and his wife Cllr Clare Curtis attended Penarth Armed Services Day in 2013 when Cllr Claire Curtis was Mayor of Barry and he acted as her consort.

Cllr Rob Curtis and his wife Cllr Clare Curtis attended Penarth Armed Services Day in 2013 when Cllr Claire Curtis was Mayor of Barry and he acted as her consort.

The adjudication follows an incident which took place on a nature reserve on Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire Coast in 2014 in which Curtis “touched the leg” of a 17-year-old-girl  “with whom he was bird-watching in a bird hide “.

At the time the offence was committed, Cllr Curtis was a £30,000 a year member  of the so-called ‘cabinet’ of the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council.  At the time he was also Deputy Mayor of Barry . He also had a day-job as an NHS hospital electrician working for the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust and was – amongst other appointments – a school governor.

In February 2015 Cllr Curtis abruptly stepped down as a member of the Vale ‘cabinet’ claiming it was because of pressure of work . Only later did it emerge that he was due to appear in Haverfordwest Court .

On May 27th 2015 a charge of sexual assault was dropped and Cllr Curtis  pleaded guilty to common assault .

In May 2013 Cllr Rob Curtis (top right) took part with a group of young people in a commercial publicity stunt for a wine company which purported to "clean up" Penarth Beach. Curtis is a Co-ordinator of Friends of Barry Beach.

A keen environmentalist, Cllr Rob Curtis (top right) took part with a group of young people in a publicity stunt for a wine company which purported to “clean up” Penarth Beach in May 2013.

In October 2015 the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust said Cllr Curtis was no longer employed by them.

Cllr Curtis’s conduct was referred to the Ombudsman for Wales – who,  on 22 February 2016 referred the matter to the Adjudication Panel for Wales.

The Adjudication Panel’s “Case Tribunal” has now found by “unanimous decision” that Cllr Curtis has “failed to comply with the Vale of Glamorgan Council Code of Conduct and the Barry Town Council”.

The key passages of the tribunal finding on Cllr Curtis

The key passages of the tribunal finding on Cllr Curtis

The adjudication says “ The Case Tribunal considered all the positive testimonials and evidence provided by Cllr Curtis of his work as a councillor . The Case Tribunal had regard to all the mitigating features of the case including the effect these proceedings have had on Cllr Curtis and his family and the steps he has taken to apologise. However the Case Tribunal considered that in order to uphold public confidence in democratic institutions and maintain proper standards of conduct it was necessary in this case to suspend Cllr Curtis for a period of three months.

The ruling says “Cllr Curtis should be suspended from acting as a member of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Barry Town Council for a period of 3 months or, if shorter, the remainder of his term of office with effect form the date of this notice”.

However, Cllr Curtis states on his profile page on the Vale Council’s website that he also occupies positions on a number of other public bodies including :-

  • Trustee of the Gibbonsdown Children’s Centre
  • Vice Chair of the Gibbonsdown Community Centre
  • Co-ordinator of Friends of Barry Beaches
  • Co-ordinator of Barry Town Council’s Fairtrade status
  • Chairman of White Farm Conservation Group
  • Trustee of the Colcot Community Centre
  • A Governor of Oakfield School.

These public bodies have yet to make any statement on Cllr Curtis.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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7 Responses to CLLR ROB CURTIS IS SUSPENDED FROM VALE AND BARRY COUNCILS

  1. Kevin Mahoney says:

    Unusually, not even a whimper of condemnation of their labour party colleague has been heard from the usual ‘right on, progressive’ members of the Vale council. It normally doesn’t take a great deal to prompt declarations of disgust from the self declared feminist members of the council whose public proclamations of condemnation in this case appear to have not been reported by the press or noticed in the council chamber.

  2. Paul Fenton says:

    Job for the boys! The Labour Party showing their true colours.

  3. Daft o dull says:

    He should be booted out for good.

    Sexual assault ain’t no laughing matter and he is now a criminal with a criminal record. I wonder how many people the Vale would employ afresh with such a conviction.

  4. Frank Evans says:

    Labour taking their punters for a ride. What’s new!

  5. The Tax payer says:

    He should be out. End of and NO coming back. But as they say (Jobs for the boys)

  6. David Moorcraft says:

    £30,000 a year as a “Cabinet ” member of the Vale Council , plus the Councillor has a full-time job as an electrician !
    How can we justify £30k for what are obviously Part-time appearances “Serving the Public ” in Council meetings ?

    Meetings which , despite the enormous expenditure on the fancy Council Chamber, with all-new chairs at £700 each, are still not televised / videoed for the public !
    Why not ?

    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      Good point David, following the live streaming of planning committee meetings as a trial around 16 months ago now I fully expected all major council meetings to have been webcast a few months later after teething troubles were sorted out.

      However as you point out the Vale council still prefer to remain anonymous in their performance during meetings.

      I have requested over and over again that digital recording equipment be used to provide a full record of all council and committee meetings in order that the public can check what their councillors are up to if they wish and to make up for the many minutes published which often quite unacceptably miss quite significant matters discussed at meetings . I understand that this proposal has just been rejected by a committee of councillors debating the issue.

      My recently presented motion that all councillors votes be recorded if just one councillor requests it instead of the 6 required at present was defeated by 44 votes to one.

      My only unescapable conclusion is that councillors on the Vale of Glamorgan are generally quite happy that there is no recorded record of their views, votes or presentations in council meetings that they can be held accountable for to residents of the Vale.

      I find it quite staggering that there is no automatic record of councillors voting record in order that they can be held to account for their decisions and views.

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