Welwyn Hatfield Council deputy leader Alan Franey survives opposition assault on Jimmy Savile links
PUBLISHED: 09:43 02 October 2014 | UPDATED: 10:42 02 October 2014
Labour members have failed to oust the borough council's deputy leader after highlighting an official report into his links with sex monster Jimmy Savile.
In a heated full council debate on Monday night, Labour failed to win cross-party support for a motion of no confidence in councillor Alan Franey, who is also finance chief on the council.
Conservative councillor Franey, whose relationship with the late DJ and role at Broadmoor Hospital between 1988 and 1997 was probed in a Department of Health report in June, sent an apology for absence.
The report suggested that a sacked nurse who dropped an industrial tribunal case may have received an irregular payment to prevent her making revelations, but council leader John Dean read out his colleague’s denial of knowledge of this.
However, Labour councillor Steve Roberts highlighted councillor Franey’s failure to answer questions from NHS investigators.
He said: “Why has councillor Franey not answered these questions?
“He was in a senior position.
“I cannot believe he has simply lost his memory.
“It is simply wrong.”
Labour leader Kieran Thorpe said: “These are serious allegations.
“There are many organisations asking questions why there has not been a response to this [report].
“It is time to provide a response.”
Several of councillor Franey’s Tory colleagues said he should be presumed innocent until proved guilty, and council leader John Dean accused Labour of “a feeble attempt at character assassination”.
Lib Dem Malcolm Cowan said that while the report had disclosed behaviour of concern, he could not support the motion.
He said: “Such relationships might be seen as inappropriate now, but were not particularly unusual then.”
Cllr Franey was also defended by independent member Sandra Kyriakides, who joined Tories and Lib Dems to defeat the motion by 29 votes to 12.