Councillor ‘hurt’ by complaints

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Latest politics news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A councillor has said he was left hurt by “unfounded” complaints made against him by a local businessman.

In January, Clive Morris, who runs the Chevington Group in Long Melford, made two complaints to Babergh District Council against Richard Kemp.

Mr Kemp, who is a county, district and parish councillor, was accused of wrong-doing for his involvement with the Hamilton Charity, which supports villagers.

Having worked as a trustee for the charity since 1986, Mr Kemp strenuously denied any wrongdoing and has now been cleared by an independent adjudicator appointed to investigate the complaints by the district council.

Mr Kemp said: “These two complaints were hurtful, totally unfounded and obviously made by someone who hadn’t taken the trouble to find out the facts.

“Babergh looked into them and consulted with an independent person in accordance with their standards procedure and found, not surprisingly, that there was no case to answer and that I had acted correctly in both cases.

“I cannot imagine where the complainant got his so-called facts from, but they were totally and utterly wrong.”

As well as Mr Kemp’s involvement in the charity, a complaint was made about the use by Long Melford Parish Council of office space owned by a company that Mr Kemp is a director of, and the terms of the rental agreement in place.

Fellow district councillor John Nunn said he thought the complaints were politically motivated.

“I know the hurt that has been caused to Richard by these totally unfounded accusations,” he said. “I have always found Richard to be a man of the highest integrity and someone who always has Long Melford close to his heart.

“The person making these complaints is not a true Melfordian, just someone trying to make political mileage at election time.”

Mr Kemp, an independent, has decided not to seek re-election to the parish council.