RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  keithatrochdale on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:42 am

Hinch wrote:
As for his present roles as Leader of the council and being Jim Dobbin's secretary, God knows how he manages to juggle them as they are both BIG jobs.


I think the answer is he doesn't; but I bet he is laughing all the way to the bank!
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:30 pm

keithatrochdale wrote:
Hinch wrote:
As for his present roles as Leader of the council and being Jim Dobbin's secretary, God knows how he manages to juggle them as they are both BIG jobs.

I think the answer is he doesn't; but I bet he is laughing all the way to the bank!


On 12 June 2012, Colin Lambert stated to a parliamentary committee, as a declaration of interest,


‘I work full-time for Jim Dobbin, Member of Parliament.’


He’s on records as Mr Dobbin’s Senior Parliamentary Assistant, staff salary for this post around £39,000. per annum.





A couple of financial years’ ago, it was reported that Lambert received more than £32,000. from RMBC in a year’s “allowances,” with an extra £1,352 as a member of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund Advisory Committee.

Of course these days there will be a Leader’s extra allowance, with additions for ‘local’ committee appointments and pecuniary add-ons for various appointments to a range of 'external' bodies …



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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  southernbelle on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:05 pm

past it wrote:
southernbelle wrote:Does that not represent a conflict of interests?

Why would you think it does?


As the leader of Rochdale council working for the MP of another area, where do his loyalties lie? Or does he have any?
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Post  Hinch on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:47 pm

Surely Jim Dobbin's is a parliamentary constituency that covers a large slice of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale?
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Charly on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:56 pm

If thats the case Hinch, why do they need 2 MP's?
Surely 1 should be enough Wink
On the parliaments website it states that J Dobbin is MP for Heywood and Middleton and S Danczuk is MP for Rochdale so SouthernBelle is correct in what she says.
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  past it on Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:41 pm

He works for Jim Dobbin and has declared as much. He therefore has no prejudicial conflict of interest. Whether his remarks about the care homes were wise or libelous is for others to decide.
The parliamentary boundaries are created by the boundary commission. There are two RMBC MPs therefore.

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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Hinch on Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:40 pm

To be honest Charly, I'm not sure where SB is going with this one. God knows I'm no Lambert fan but I fail to see a specific conflict of interest.

Many, many cities and conurbations have more than one parliamentary seat. We are still one borough but with a population that warrants 2 parliamentary seats.

I just fail to see what specific conflict there could be long as he is able to fulfil his leadership role.

As to his income, this is very small potatoes compared to what some councillors and MP's get with their various directorships, consultancy work etc.
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Charly on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:02 pm

I think the point is...he leads one council yet he is working for the MP for the neighbouring constituency

In other words...the concern is about time and effort, for example, whether he is devoting sufficient attention to his responsibilities within his own primary institution.

Both experience and research indicate that under certain conditions there is a risk that professional judgment may be influenced more by secondary interests than by primary interests.

Isn’t paid remuneration for confirmed full-time employment within an MP’s parliamentary office organisation the primary institution in this case?
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  smithy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:42 pm

Err you do realise that the neighbouring constiuency contains Castleton, Norden, Bamford, Heywood and Middleton - are these no longer in the Borough?

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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Charly on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:50 pm

Of course, but do his loyalties lie with the MP for Heywood and Middleton or does it lie with his Rochdale council leader position?
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  johnb on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:56 pm

Actually, most if not all of Jim Dobbin's constituency is contained within the boundary of RMBC.

That is either team management or conflict of interest.
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  teamplayer2 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:03 pm

smithy wrote:Err you do realise that the neighbouring constiuency contains Castleton, Norden, Bamford, Heywood and Middleton - are these no longer in the Borough?

They might smithy but some people over the years have told me they feel forgotten in those areas. Even more so in Middleton and Heywood.
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  past it on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:10 pm

Charly wrote:Of course, but do his loyalties lie with the MP for Heywood and Middleton or does it lie with his Rochdale council leader position?

The problem with this sort of question is that however many observations, explanations or contributions are made by interested parties people will always tend to believe what they want.
One thing is certain, his employment with Jim Dobbin who is an MP solely within the RMBC has been declared and accepted as being non conflicting with his job as leader of the council.
What was Paul Rowen's relationship with the Lib Dem office when he was leader of the council? I think there also was a time when Paul Rowen as MP for Rochdale was still a councilor. Any conflict there?

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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:57 pm

past it wrote:
One thing is certain, his employment with Jim Dobbin who is an MP solely within the RMBC has been declared and accepted as being non conflicting with his job as leader of the council.

I think the employment statement was simply declared at the time, rather than assessed. However,

Key tasks and responsibilities of C Lambert’s employment role as a Senior Parliamentary Assistant, according to the Job Description for the post produced/agreed and promoted by ipsa, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Association, is ‘openly’ available to reference

They include a member of staff’s initial responsibility to:

Respond effectively, courteously and independently to routine correspondence and enquiries from constituents, the media, lobbyists and pressure groups.

In context, what are his positions then with the alleged reticence of his communication, responses and contacts with RO ?






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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Hinch on Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:06 pm

To be fair, Jim's office does respond promptly and courteously etc.

It seems to be that it is only when CL has his Leader's head on that issues arise.

As long as someone declares their interests I honestly can't see a problem. If people have specific complaints they can raise them via the Standards Committee.

Am not fond of CL and don't think he is a good Leader but I have not seen any evidence of a conflict of interest.
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Guest on Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:46 am

Hinch wrote:It seems to be that it is only when CL has his Leader's head on that issues arise.


scratch which also seemed to be an important point that was being made on some Forum posts.



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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  cyfrifia on Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:54 am

This meeting of the Lambert anti-fan club doesn't seem to have anything substantial to say.

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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Hinch on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:00 am

So, to flog my long-dead horse yet again, is there any SPECIFIC evidence that CL has acted in a way that is illegal or has caused a direct conflict of interest in some way?

As long as he registers his interests and declares them in any debate or issue where there is a clear conflict of interest I see no particular problem.

I find much to criticise CL about in his handling of various issues but have not detected that these have arisen because of any role-conflict.


Last edited by Hinch on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Prudence Tempered on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:03 am

Hinch wrote: I have not seen any evidence of a conflict of interest.

I agree. I don't see how his job presents a conflict of interest any more than the fact that he represents one particular ward in the borough - and that would be true for any councillor on any authority.

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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Hinch on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:06 am

And a ward that some seem to think is not in 'Rochdale' PT.
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Prudence Tempered on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:10 am

Hinch wrote:And a ward that some seem to think is not in 'Rochdale' PT.

To be fair, I suspect that's also true for a lot of the electors of West Heywood!

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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Hinch on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:21 am

All councillors of all parties could potentially find themselves involved in issues that could cause a conflict of interest. That is why there is a register of these interests and why it can be an offence not to declare them.

Occasionally I think there are lapses that give rise to concern. (Re-run the infamous episode of 'The Planners' for further insights.)

Should Dale Mulgrew declare that he is the son of a famous professional comedian when he goes into one of his over-long, speeches peppered with humorous anecdotes?
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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  Prudence Tempered on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:44 am

Hinch wrote:All councillors of all parties could potentially find themselves involved in issues that could cause a conflict of interest. That is why there is a register of these interests and why it can be an offence not to declare them.

Occasionally I think there are lapses that give rise to concern. (Re-run the infamous episode of 'The Planners' for further insights.)

Should Dale Mulgrew declare that he is the son of a famous professional comedian when he goes into one of his over-long, speeches peppered with humorous anecdotes?

Yes it's why there are rules about declaring any potential clashes of interests but it is also why there are rules about eligibility to sit on a council if the conflict is so apparent that it prevents a councillor doing their job properly.

I think there I don't see any problem with Cllr Lambert's employment but I honestly fail to see how Richard Farnell's job is not a complete clash of interests. I also couldn't understand how Jim McMahon's recent employment was not a huge clash with his role as leader of Oldham Council.

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Re: RMBC and Colin Lambert to be sued for libel

Post  past it on Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:49 am

Mojo Hill wrote:
past it wrote:
One thing is certain, his employment with Jim Dobbin who is an MP solely within the RMBC has been declared and accepted as being non conflicting with his job as leader of the council.

I think the employment statement was simply declared at the time, rather than assessed. However,

Key tasks and responsibilities of C Lambert’s employment role as a Senior Parliamentary Assistant, according to the Job Description for the post produced/agreed and promoted by ipsa, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Association, is ‘openly’ available to reference

They include a member of staff’s initial responsibility to:

Respond effectively, courteously and independently to routine correspondence and enquiries from constituents, the media, lobbyists and pressure groups.

In context, what are his positions then with the alleged reticence of his communication, responses and contacts with RO ?





I don't understand the declared but not assessed. As a former councilor I was always asked at meetings if I had an interest to declare, if I was unsure legal advice was available and one heeded that. On the bench the same thing applied and heeded.
If an interest is declared and noted, which it will always be in the minutes, then the correct procedure has been followed.
Colin Lambert has declared his interest in respect of his employment with Jim Dobbin. What more is he expected to do? As I said in earlier posts whatever information comes available people will always put their own interpretation on it and believe what they want.

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