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.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)
Very best wishes
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....?