This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The mystery of Cllr Anthony Stansfeld (collected posts)

I thought I would put down here all of my postings about Cllr Anthony Stansfeld's 'CV' in one place. I have dated this 1/1/12 in order place it at the bottom although I complied this post on 26 October 2012. I have simply copied out all the previous posts with out any editing.

1) Cllr Anthony Stansfeld: Chairman of what exactly? (3/7/12)

So, the Conservative Parties in Thames Valley have finally selected their candidate to fight the election to become the first Police & Crime Commissioner of our local police service. He is one Councillor Anthony Stansfeld (you can find his biography here)

He has spent most of career either in the Army or in defence industry working with the Army. He is now “Chairman of a small company that has interests in water systems for agriculture and energy recovery systems for industry”. He also chaired the “Performance Committee of the Thames Valley Police last year, during this period the overall crime rate has dropped by 15%, the greatest drop of any Police Force in England and Wales”.

I assume he will be resigning from the Police Authority soon. 

Meanwhile he is an executive member of West Berkshire Council. He was born and bred in Newbury and West Berkshire.

But of what small company is Cllr Stansfeld Chairman?

His West Berkshire register of interests says he is “Chairman of FIDAS” but does not give an address for this company.

I have checked out Companies House records but I have drawn a blank.

His LinkedIn profile lists him as Chairman of ‘Prescience Switzerland’ in Reading, a bio technology business. 

As far as I can discover, this company has details here but Anthony Stansfeld is not listed as Chairman.

However making the link between him and Frank Iding, it would seem that they were both Directors of company called European Land Solutions Ltd and terminated their positions (along with David Hewitson) on 15 July 2008. This company is now dissolved but was previously called ‘European Landmine Solutions Ltd’. Janes list this company’s activities as “Detection and clearance of mines, marking and monitoring, mine risk education, surveys and training” 

So I am puzzled: of what company is Cllr Stansfeld currently Chairman? 

If it is ‘FIDAS’, may we have an address or website? I will have other questions to explore, but perhaps he or his spokesperson might like to come forward with this information soon. And maybe Cllr Stansfeld might like to expand on his statement in the West Berkshire register of interests.

UPDATE 5 July 2012

I have just written to West Berkshire Council:
 I have been looking at the Register of Interests of Cllr Stansfeld. Under the section “5. My Employment or Business carried on by me”, he records that he is “Chairman of FIDAS”. However no address (postal, web or otherwise) is given for this organisation – either here or in the box underneath (6. The name of people/bodies who employ, or have appointed, me) where he simply says “ditto” and the address box is left blank. I have been unable to find a record of FIDAS anywhere.
 As I assume that a Member’s Register of interests should be clear, comprehensive and unambiguous, may I request that Cllr Stansfeld completes the information about this company so that council taxpayers may have a full knowledge of the interests of their councillors. I am sure that this is a matter that can be quickly resolved.
 May I also request, through you, that Cllr Stansfeld may wish to adjust his LinkedIn record which shows him as Chairman of a company called Prescience, Switzerland based in Reading (see attached). Unless of course, he is Chairman of this company as well as FIDAS. In which case he will wish to add it to his register of interests, I assume.
 My interest in all of this stems from Cllr Stansfeld’s selection as the Conservative candidate for the forthcoming election for the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner.
 Many thanks
 Very best wishes
I am looking forward to the response... (part two of this story is above)

2)  What does Cllr Stansfeld chair? (part two) (9/7/12)

Ok - this is getting quite technical now. I received a reply to my email (see below) at the end of last week:
Dear Mr Harvey

I refer to your e-mail of 5th July addressed to the Council's General Information address which has been passed to me for comment and response

The Register of Interests is currently being updated by all members of this Council and others around the Country following the introduction of the revised Standards regime as part of the Localism Act 2011. Under provisions introduced by Government on 6th June members now have to reveal 'disclosable pecuniary interests' which are defined by Statutory Instrument.

Under the new provisions a member has to disclose any beneficial interest in shares or interests in securities in a company where that company operates within the 'area of the relevant authority'. In this instance, as the company is neither registered in the UK nor West Berkshire the interest does not fall within the provisions of the Act.
The requirements of the existing Register similarly refer to the

body(company) having a place of business or land in the 'authority's area' which neither of the two companies to which refer has. As far as I am aware the companies do not have any contracts with the Council and therefore there it is not necessary for Cllr Stansfeld to disclose their existence.

Under the previous Register individual members have to disclose the name of the organisation by whom they are employed and their position which Cllr Stansfeld has done as part of his disclosure under paragraph 5 of the Register. There is no statutory requirement to disclose the address of the employer although I would expect that to be the case if the body/company was based within the District. It will be a matter for Cllr Stansfeld to assess whether he feels it is necessary to disclose the additional information to which you refer when he completes his new Register in due course.
Hmm. So I mulled on this for a while, dug deep into my inner-terrier and I replied just now:
Many thanks for your detailed reply. It raises a couple of queries for me which I would beg your assistance with:
As a Town Councillor myself, I am naturally aware of the changes to the Standards Regime - indeed I have a new form to complete currently sitting in my in my email inbox. For the time being, I am not concerned with these changes and what information Cllr Stansfeld decides to declare or not under the new provisions.
I note from your own form as published on the internet that members are required to state (until the new provisions become active):
5. My Employment or Business carried on by me - Description of your employment activity
To this question, Cllr Stansfeld has replied “Chairman FIDAS”
I understand from the information you have provided me with that he has correctly answered the specification of that question. This is fine.
However the next question asks:
6. The name of people/bodies who employ, or have appointed, me
To this question, there are two spaces which I presume that you require to be completed (otherwise why have the two spaces)? You ask for Name of Employer AND Address of Employer. To this question, Cllr Stansfeld has answered “As above”, expressly leaving the address portion of this question blank.
Whilst I understand from you that there “is no statutory requirement to disclose the address of the employer”, your own procedure appears to require such a detail. Moreover, without such address detail (though I am sure it would not happen) a councillor could invent any organisational name and there would be no means of cross checking it.
And so, I would be grateful if you would supply a copy of your procedure (as was) as to the information requested from each councillor. I would like to know if Cllr Stansfeld was (either explicitly or implicitly) asked for an address of the “of people/bodies who employ, or have appointed, me” or not. Thank you.
Secondly, and your procedure will probably clarify this, but were councillors expected under the old regime to list all “of people/bodies who employ, or have appointed, me” or just one, more or none of their choosing? In other words, could a councillor choose not to declare a body (etc) that has appointed him/her under the old system?
If it is the case that Cllr Stansfeld was required to declare all such bodies, can you explain to me how it is that he did not declare his involvement with Prescience AG? Or is he no longer involved with this company or was he never involved? (Is his LinkedIn account now out of date, for example?)
Many thanks
Very best wishes 

3)  The mystery that is Councillor Anthony Stansfeld (part three) (27/7/12)

It is now (pretty well) three business weeks since I wrote to West Berkshire Council in response to their reply to my request to know more about the businesses that Cllr Stansfeld says he chairs. (See part two here and part one here for the back story.) I have not had a reply. This is curious since they replied to my first inquiry within one day.

Quite frankly, I am bemused as to why doesn't Cllr Stansfeld just make a clear statement about what companies (with accessible addresses / numbers etc) he is involved with. I am beginning to wonder if there is something a shade hidden here. The electors of Thames Valley may be wondering the same thing...

So, if I do not receive a reply from the West Berkshire Official by Tuesday (he is returning from holiday on the Monday it would appear from his out of office email), I may well have to resort to an FoI inquiry to prize the information out.

But come on Cllr Stansfeld! As you are standing to be the Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, you surely want to be (and be seen to be) totally transparent about your various commercial (and other) interests?

Don't you?

4) Stansfeld mystery - part four (31/7/12)

Today I received this reply back from the West Berkshire Council monitoring officer:
My apologies for not getting back to you but there is very little I can add to my previous response.
However in answer to your specific questions regarding 'the procedure (as was)' as to the information requested from each councillor, each member was provided with a pre-printed form from Shaw & Sons (Cat. No. LGA1). The guidance notes to that form provide in respect of question 6: 'If you are employed or have been appointed give in this section the name of the person or body who employs you or appointed you. Please indicate whichever applies deleting the appropriate words in square brackets.'
Cllr Stansfeld followed the guidance in his response as far as I can see from his response. There was no request for details of the address of the body referred to under this section and as I mentioned previously there is no requirement to provide an address.
In regard to your second question you ask if councillors were expected to list all bodies who employ/appointed them. I would expect that any member who disclosed this information would disclose all such bodies. The completion of the form was a matter for each member, as I'm sure you are aware, and if they had any concerns they could have consulted myself as Monitoring Officer.

As far the other company you mention is concerned I have checked with Councillor Stanford and he is no longer involved with it. I am not responsible for the currency of his Linked in account so I am unable to comment as to whether it is out of date. 
Once again apologies for not responding sooner
This seems like a reasonable response from the Council officer. I do note that he says "I would expect that any member who disclosed this information would disclose all such bodies" [my added emphasis] and there is just a hint that perhaps Cllr Stansfeld may have omitted mention of Prescience AG. He says he is no longer involved with that business - but from when was he no longer involved?

So the mystery continues. 

Perhaps I ought to write to Cllr Stansfeld directly? 

Email sent:
Dear Councillor Stansfeld
You will have been aware that I have been trying to track down the company that the register of interests states that you are Chairman of. I understand the company is called FIDAS. I am usually pretty good at finding most things on the internet, but I have failed to find the details of this company. I would be very grateful if you could send me a postal or website address for this firm. Thank you.
Furthermore, Mr Holling informs me that you are no longer involved with Prescience AG although your linked-in account says that you are. Please can you tell me on what date you terminated your involvement with this company?
Many thanks. Sincerely yours

5) Stansfeld mystery (part five) (15/8/12)

As per my last blog post about the mystery that is Cllr Anthony Stansfeld (the Conservative PCC candidate for Thames Valley), I decided to write to him directly, asking him to shed some light on the two firms with which he appears to have / have had connections: the elusive ‘FIDAS’ (as mentioned by him on the West Berkshire Council register of interests) and ‘Prescience AG’ (as mentioned on his Linked-In account).

His replies were (shall I say) robust and not especially illuminating. I hesitate to bore you with all the details but here are some things that he wrote to me. In reply to my first email he opened with:

“Dear Mr Harvey, I have complied with all requirements of disclosure. My business interests, which have absolutely  nothing to do with either policing or military, which you suggest in your press releases, or also nothing to do with you. You appear to be purely on a political exercise trying to damage my reputation.”

And later in the same email:

“I no longer have anything to do with Prescience, a company that never traded, so was disposed of”

So I wrote back:

“It was when I went looking for more information about FIDAS that I drew a blank. While I am no internet geek, I can usually find what I am looking for on the net. And so I have raised questions in various quarters but I believe I have made no unsubstantiated accusations.  You can clear that matter up now, if you wish. But I note, so far, that you have chosen not to do this. Please allow me to repeat my question: what is the address of FIDAS?”

I have yet to receive a reply to this last question – including in a second email he sent to me. All that the voters of Thames Valley currently know is that FIDAS could be

a) fictional
b) a spelling error
c) another company that also never traded
d) just what Cllr Stansfeld says it is: “a small company that has interests in water systems for agriculture and energy recovery systems for industry” or
e) something else entirely.

Amongst the seven Nolan principles of public life is the idea of “Accountability - holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office” [with my added italics]. I note his phrase “nothing to do with you.” Hmm.

I maintain that to merely give a name of a company with no address is not being transparent, it is precisely the opposite.

Cllr Stansfeld may believe that I am the only one asking these questions, but I suspect as we get closer to November 15th, more people will be asking these and other questions too. If you would like to write to Cllr Stansfeld yourself – his various addresses are available from the West Berkshire Council site

Meanwhile I am off to do some more research to see what I more I can find out. Wish me well.

Cllr Stansfeld may be happy to remain a mystery to the voters of Thames Valley. I suspect that many more people will want to know a good deal extra about the person who wishes to become the Police & Crime Commissioner once they fully understand just how much ‘quasi presidential’ power the PCC will wield.

6) Anthony Stansfeld mystery - solved? (part six) (15/8/12)

Could the mystery be solved? After doing some more research, I have now managed to locate a company called Fidas AG. Details can be found here

Why do I think this could be ‘the’ FIDAS mentioned by Cllr Stansfeld:

- The name is the same
- It is in a German speaking part of Switzerland – and press releases about Cllr Stansfeld’s bid to be PCC have mentioned a ‘German based company’ (see here
- It shares the same address as Prescience AG (as mentioned on their website: Rathausstrasse 7, CH-6340 Baar Switzerland), a company we know that Cllr Stansfeld has had connections with
- Bruno Bosshard is the ‘supervisory board member’ and according to Linked-In, people who view Bruno's page, also view Cllr Anthony Stansfeld’s page (a tenuous link, I know)

So is this the company, Cllr Stansfeld? Or are these details coincidental?

The tricky bit, however, is that there is no mention it being a “green technology research and development company”. Instead the company’s listed purpose is “Erwerb, Halten und Verwalten sowie Veräusserung von Beteiligungen” which means (care of Google Translate) “Acquisition, holding and management and sale of investments”.

So perhaps the mystery has not yet been solved?

Over to you Cllr Stansfeld for clarification…

7) Cllr Stansfeld has yet to resign from the Police Authority (31/8/12)

As regular readers of this blog know, the TaxPayers' Alliance are not my favourite bunch of bunnies as I think they think far too much concerned about cost and not enough about value. They have also yet to support my campaign to have the Freedom of Information Act extended to all organisations spending our money - be they public services or businesses on contract etc.

However, in my inbox this morning arrives an email from them saying "Councillors' allowances are often reasonable compensation for people making a valuable contribution to their local community. But it is hard to justify why some authorities are paying much more than others, and big increases at a time when taxpayers are under so much pressure. And with other perks too, there is a real danger councillors start to see their job as representing the council to the people, not the people to the council".

The big increases bit stood out for me. I can sign up to that. If any council remuneration committee has increased expenses by more than inflation, let alone by more than the increase in the national average wage, that is pretty shabby in my opinion. It smacks of councillors looking after themselves rather than the communities they represent. And I say this without knowing the political colour of the councils involved.

But what of PCC candidates and in particular those who currently sit on Police Authorities? It seems reasonable to me that, given the law (you cannot sit on a police authority and be a PCC etc), that if you have started campaigning to become a PCC you should resign from being a member of your police authority. To do continue being a member and continue claiming an allowance... just does not seem right to me. Indeed, it seems pretty inappropriate.

Again I am saying this without the knowledge of what is happening around the country so I may have upset some Labour PCC candidates. Nevertheless, I stand by what I say.

But I also know, because I had it confirmed to me this morning, that Cllr Anthony Stansfeld, the anointed Conservative PCC candidate for Thames Valley has NOT resigned from Thames Valley Police Authority. He has had plenty of time to resign since he was selected (back in the middle of July).

Is Cllr Stansfeld still claiming an allowance from the PA which is (indirectly) helping him fund his campaign?

Is Cllr Stansfeld still getting privileged access to information about policing in Thames Valley by dint of his membership of the PA?

Is Cllr Stansfeld still getting privelged access to police staff and officers by dint of his membership of the PA?

Why hasn't Cllr Stansfeld resigned yet?

Perhaps the Police Authority or Cllr Stansfeld might like to answer these questions. (Although I am not holding my breath regarding Cllr Stansfeld who has yet to answer my questions about the location of his business interests... see herehere and more below)

8) Does Cllr Anthony Stansfeld believe in transparency and accountability? (21/9/12)

OK, so where are we up to with understanding Cllr Anthony Stansfeld’s commercial interests and whether we know all there is to know? This is what I think I have established:
  • His West Berkshire register has now changed to comply with new regulations around the declaration of interests (as I understand matters). The full text can be seen here. It now says he is “Chairman of FIDAS - not registered in UK and with no interests in the UK. Unpaid” 
  • So we still know little about FIDAS unless it is a company registered in Switzerland called Fidas AG (see earlier blog to see the connection ) However, this company states that its purpose is ““acquisition, holding and management and sale of investments”.
  • Cllr Stansfeld states on his published CV to be “currently Chairman of a small company that has interests in water systems for agriculture and energy recovery systems for industry” (see here)
  • So if Fidas AG is an investment type company it could well have interests in water systems etc. just as it might also have investments in many other kinds of (unknown) businesses as well. There is no website and not much more information about this company and precisely what its business is. What conclusions would you draw from this: Switzerland, investment type company, paucity of information?
  • I now have a copy of Cllr Stansfeld’s register of interests for his Police Authority work. Interestingly, it does not mention FIDAS at all, nor indeed, as it happens does it list his membership of West Berkshire Council (I have raised this with the PA). The document I was sent says it was updated on 29/8/12… However it does mention (under Name of Employer or Name of Firm of which I am a Partner/Remunerated Director) the following: “ELS, Redhill Chambers, 28 High Street, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1RJ”. This is interesting as when I search on “els redhill” I get links to European Land Solutions. As I have established before, Cllr Stansfeld has indeed had a relationship with such a business (see this below) but he terminated his involvement with this business in 2008 and it was formally dissolved as a company a year or so later. Just to repeat, the document was updated on 29/8/12… (I also cannot account for the fact that the last company address of ELS was in Peterborough not Redhill…) And the website that the ELS links point towards include this which seems (now) to be a querky and slightly dodgy website in Japanese. Huh ???
  • His LinkedIn account still shows him as Chairman of a company called Prescience AG which Cllr Stansfeld has told me in an email never traded even though it still has a live website presence. The website is neatly designed and describes the company as Turning today’s innovative technologies into tomorrow’s universal applications in target markets in the Middle East, Australasia, Europe and Asia. Working with Europe’s leading innovators in the water and energy sectors, PRESCIENCE AG helps with the development of new and significant technologies in territories where team members have gained considerable experience. This sounds rather like the company described in Cllr Stansfeld’s CV. But it never traded according to him. Hmm...
I am almost getting bored by all this now as I have met with so many cul-de-sacs and information that just does not add up for me. But I say almost… because in the end, Cllr Stansfeld is pitching for high and powerful political office. I think the electorate have a right to know about all of his commercial interests whether they are in this country or not. Right now, I think we know very little.

I will continue to dig… (and all help with the spade work much appreciated)

Here for your information are links to all the previous blog posts on this matter:
Part one | Part two | Part three | Part four | Part five | Part six | Part seven

9) The truth is simple? (part nine) (25/9/12)

I am now officially and totally confused about Cllr Stansfeld's commercial interests.

Thames Valley Police Authority have now kindly sent me a copy of his Register of Interests as at March 2012. First, here is a clip of the one 'updated' for August:

And now the one for March this year:

So here are a number of questions now outstanding:

  • Why did Cllr Stansfeld remove reference to being Chairman of the Sefinor Group?
  • Who is the Sefinor Group? (Again I can find no easy reference to this organisation anywhere though see below)
  • Does the Sefinor Group exist?
  • How come mention of the Sefinor Group appears to have been omitted from his record at West Berkshire Council - although perhaps it was there in a previous version?

Questions and more questions: and still no answers from Cllr Stansfeld....

And there I was thinking we were getting somewhere.... (see blog post below)

In my research around Sefinor, I did turn up this interesting page. (Remember we have established that Cllr Stansfeld was involved in a company called Prescience AG along with, among others, Frank Iding.) This page is interesting on two counts:

  • "Mr Iding has been Managing Director of Prescience AG since 2007...  Mr Iding has wide international experience gained through his work for the two companies and in his previous role as Chief Executive Officer of the Sefinor Group – a group of companies based in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere specialising in landmine and unexploded ordnance clearance and risk management" So, at least in 2009, the Sefinor Group of companies existed although who knows what has happened to it now (Cllr Stansfeld?)
  • Now secondly and this is a crucial bit. Note the statement "Mr Iding has been Managing Director of Prescience AG since 2007" on a document dated 2009. That is two years and note the tense of the statement. In an email that Cllr Stansfeld sent to me back in August he said "I no longer have anything to do with Prescience, a company that never traded, so was disposed of" [my highlight] A company that never traded but existed for two years (at least) with a Managing Director... How are these two statements both true? I am intrigued to find out.

So is the truth simple here? It doesn't feel like that to me at the moment...

10) Very unattractive? (part ten) 9/10/12

During the hustings last night, I asked a question of the panel:

Most of you have written and all of you have talked this evening about your leadership experience at running a business, as being part of your bid to be recognised at the best PCC candidate. Please will you give specific names and details of all the businesses you have led in recent years, together with details of where the voting public can find out more about the actual financial performance of these businesses so that we can assess your leadership credentials.

The answers were illuminating. Rather than try to record what people said in note or verbatim form, I have uploaded a file to two places so that you can hear the response from the panel:
It would appear that my research into the commercial interests of Cllr Stansfeld has upset him somewhat. You may have some sympathies with him and think that his business is none of my business (etc.) Please allow me to state again why I have been doing this:
  • It all started by accident. I was curious to find out more about the man so I went to looking and found his register of interests on the West Berkshire Council site. He listed and still lists a company called Fidas. His register (now) says this company is based abroad. I could find no record which got me wondering...
  • I did some more digging and found out several facts which don't appear easily to stack up with each other. (See my earlier posts for all the information - here and later here) There is significant inconsistency between several public records. 
  • The position of PCC is one that has considerable power, almost presidential power. I think the voting public have a right to know about the background of a person who is bidding to become the first PCC. As Tim said last night, it is about accountability and transparency.
  • Do note that Cllr Stansfeld's current bid to become PCC is partly built upon his statement that he is (not was) "currently Chairman of a small company that has interests in water systems for agriculture and energy recovery systems for industry" (from his short CV on the West Berkshire Conservative Association website which I assume Cllr Stansfeld either wrote or approved) Other websites repeat this information such as 'Your next PCC'

Cllr Stansfeld can clear all this confusion up very easily. I would be happy to print whatever statement he wishes to make. All he has to do to state clearly the name and address of the company he currently chairs and which is referred to in his CV. (He may then have to adjust various registers of interest as well, I don't know...) Indeed, he may be chairman of more than one since his TVPA record currently refers to ELS and the WBC one refers to Fidas. An explanation of why these two records differ would be helpful too.

I am not interested in going back many years. I am interested in recent times. I am not greatly interested in Cllr Stansfeld's exploits in Borneo (worthy though I am sure they were) or his leadership of Pilatus Britten Norman which, according to his LinkedIn profile, he left 16 years ago. Those two roles (among others in his earlier years) were very different to the PCC role, I would contend. (The PCC is role is much more about influence and leadership than it is about management and command.)

It seems to me that Cllr Stansfeld thinks it is only me that is curious about his credentials and interests. I can assure him that is not the case if the people who have contacted me and others about these matters is any indication.

And personally, I really want to get onto policy and just what Cllr Stansfeld is promising the public of Thames Valley if he becomes PCC. His website is still pretty well void of all policy. I will be more than happy to move on from my "very unattractive" digging into his commercial interests when all is clear.

Over to you Cllr Stansfeld....

11) Anthony Stansfeld: the facts do not add up (UPDATED) (21/10/12)

Anthony Stansfeld has been announced at the Conservative Party Candidate in the election of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner. Some of the facts about him do not add up:
  • His CV on the West Berkshire Conservative Association website describes him as currently being “Chairman of a small company that has interests in water systems for agriculture and energy recovery systems for industry”. Note that word “currently”.
  • Thames Valley Police Authority sent me a copy of his recently revised (August this year) register of interests where he states he has in interest in an organisation called ELS (and no others).
  • At a hustings meeting in Reading two weeks ago he said that he “was” a non-executive chairman of ELS and he “had” a very small non-executive chairmanship of a research company (though he did not name it). Note the past tense in both of his statements. 
  • His statement of his interests on the West Berkshire Council website says he is a Chairman of a company called FIDAS. This register too has been fairly recently updated in line with new Government guidelines.
  • Linked-In shows him as being Chairman of a company called Prescience AG. The website of this company states that the MD of the company is one Frank Iding. Mr Iding cites his being MD of this company for at least two years on an official US government form
  • In emails that Anthony Stansfeld sent to me on the 2nd and 3rd August this year, he stated that ELS “was closed down some years ago” and Prescience was “a company that never traded, so was disposed of”. 
These facts are not consistent with each other, in my view. On several occasions, I have asked Cllr Stansfeld to clear these matters up and show how they might be made consistent. He has not done so. With this blog post I am asking him again.

Before too long, the voting public of Thames Valley will have a chance to elect their first Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC). The person filling these shoes will need to operate by the highest standards of public office which include the principles of integrity, openness and honesty. The PCC will a critical role in the governance of local justice services.

The facts above speak for themselves.

Is Cllr Stansfeld the right person for the job of PCC? Personally, I think not. What does the wider public think? Will any of this matter to people when they come to vote on 15th November?

I hope it does. I really hope it does. 


Just noticed some discussion about this and related blogs on some forums based down Newbury way. One person said "Just perusing some links up on 'the other forum' they are obviously from the 'Labour' perspective, but this Councillor does seem a little 'economical with the truth' somehow." (link) and another wrote "Probably doesn't amount to a hill of beans (one for the oldies there) but interesting reading all the same. Especially the getting around the members interests disclosure."

Hill of beans? True, I have uncovered facts about Anthony Stansfeld's 'CV' that don't add up... I have not found any evidence of him (say) corrupting an official or being involved in the manufacture of badger culling equipment. But, the question the voters have to ask themselves when they come to cast their vote..

Would you employ someone who has been shown to have inconsistent statements on their job application?

My answer is, of course, no. And the reason it is a 'no' is all to with trust & confidence. If a person cannot get facts about themselves on their 'CV' lined up, then you have to wonder is that down to poor self organisation, a general cavalier approach to the truth, or do they have something bigger to hide or something else? I really don't know. All I know is there is doubt.

I am reminded of... (again for the oldies...)

For those who don't know, this is the former president of the USA, one Richard Nixon. This is a copy of an election poster that might be said to have derailed his campaign in 1960 such that JFK won. But he was later to become president succeeding Lyndon B Johnson. The rest is history.

I am not saying that Cllr Stansfield is like Richard Nixon, naturally. I am saying, that on the basis of the facts I have uncovered, I would not appoint him to any job, let alone the PCC.

As the Government website containing all the candidate statements went live today, I thought I would put together a compilation of all my blog posts about Cllr Stansfeld's 'CV' into one place. I have put it right at the bottom of the blog as it is quite long.

If you want to access it, here is the link.

You can follow my research and thinking in one easy to read place and perhaps deduce, like me, that the facts just do not add up...

13) An extraordinary allegation (UPDATED...) (31/10/12)

I have mentioned this below but I have now had a chance to review the webcast recording of the event in Aylesbury where Anthony Stansfeld made an extraordinary allegation. You can watch what he says by going here and scrolling through to 1 hour 42 minutes in. You will hear my colleague Labour Cllr Michael Beall ask a question and then Cllr Stansfeld's response.

Amongst his remarks he says:
"and you've gone through my bank accounts and expense claims in huge detail and I know that.."
I am really not sure how Cllr Stansfeld thinks I have the power to trawl through his bank account in 'huge detail' (which I assume would also be an illegal act were I have to have done it). But I can confirm here that I have neither gone through his bank accounts nor his expenses at all.

Now I would like Cllr Stansfeld to retract that statement and offer me an apology. He has the opportunity to do that below and I will happily print his statement. We can all make mistakes in the heat of the moment, and I would be prepared to forgive this one.

However, if he fails to acknowledge my objection to his public allegation, then I may have to reconsider my first reaction in the post below.

UPDATE (1/11/12): Late yesterday afternoon, I sent the email below to the email address published on his website. I had no reply by this morning, so I have now also written to his West Berkshire Council email address, which he has used in the past in writing to me. I await his response.
Dear Mr Stansfeld
On Monday evening in Aylesbury, in your response to a question from Cllr Michael Beall about your declarations of interests on the TVPA and West Berkshire Council websites, you appeared to me to allege that I had been trawling through your expenses and bank accounts. Specifically, and I quote from the recorded webcast, I believe you said "and you've gone through my bank accounts and expense claims in huge detail and I know that.."
First let me state clearly that I have never sought to examine your expenses – although if I had wished to they are public records. But I have not.
Moreover, I have not gone through your bank accounts. Not only would have I have no idea as to how I would gain access to such information but also it would be an illegal act, I understand. By saying what you said, I believe you have publicly accused me of something illegal. 
I think it is highly likely that you made this statement in the heat of the moment, as it were, and I would like to offer you the opportunity to retract what you said and perhaps even apologise. I will be happy to accept both. 
I look forward to your response. Thank you.
Very best wishes
UPDATE 2: I have just now received this email from Cllr Stansfeld. I am happy to accept his retraction and apology. (11.10, 1/11/12)
Mr Harvey,
I did not mean you had literally gone through my bank accounts and if I gave that impression I apologise. I am aware that you have made contact with the Council through FOI regarding my business interests and have been interested in my Council expenses.
I hope this clarifies the matter.
Yours sincerely,
Although I am still curious about the expenses thing. It is not so critical naturally, but genuinely I have not be inquiring into his expenses. Hmmm....?

14) Questions about Anthony Stansfeld that we will probably never get answers to... (12/11/12)

Perhaps you have alighted on this blog post after searching for information about Anthony Stansfeld, the Conservative candidate for the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner. Perhaps you are a regular reader of this blog. Either way, here are some questions which I hope may one day be answered:
  • How come Anthony Stansfeld was selected over David Burbage (leader of Windsor & Maidenhead Council) and why has Cllr Burbage stayed so quiet in recent weeks?
  • Why does Cllr Stansfeld talk so much about his time in Borneo and being MD of Pilatus Britten-Norman and so little about his time as a cabinet member of West Berkshire Council (a post much closer to being PCC)?
  • Did that company export planes to Burma, Iraq and Iran in the 1990's and did he as  managing director approve those exports?
  • Why did Cllr Stansfeld declare 'ELS' on his Thames Valley Police Authority register of interests but an entirely different company (FIDAS) on his West Berkshire Council declaration?
  • Why has mention of him being "Chairman of a small company that has interests in water systems for agriculture and energy recovery systems for industry" now slipped off later CVs and his campaign newspaper?
  • Given Cllr Stansfeld's understanding of the seven principles of public life, why has he got so tetchy with me investigating public records about his commercial and other interests? (And for the record again, I have not been trawling through his expenses or his bank accounts...!)
  • Why do some of his pledges contradict each other?
  • How come Cllr Stansfeld appears to believe that he has single-handedly improved performance of Thames Valley under his chairmanship of the TVPA sub committee on performance, overlooking the official police authority report which documents improvements and better scrutiny from well before his tenure?
  • Why does he believe he is the best person for the job when the PCC role was designed to overcome the problems of police authorities, of which he has been a local member for several years?
I could go on. But one day perhaps, we might get some answers....

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