Humphrey fined. Press ‘confused’

Last week, Craig Humphrey was fined £200 (plus having to pay another £95 in costs and charges) and given 6 points on his licence for the offence of driving without insurance. This was the allegation against him that was hidden for months before it emerged via rumour.

In the Coventry Telegraph there’s a report about it that is largely factual. But there’s one part that makes no sense whatsoever:

Driving with no insurance is a non-indictable offence and as such should not affect his position at the council.

The thing is that ‘non-indictable’ is contradicted by the facts. Humphrey was charged, and as a result the case taken to the Magistrates Court at Coventry. So he was ‘indicted’. What’s more, he was found guilty. I assume he pled ‘guilty’, which is to his credit, but that doesn’t affect the verdict. Chances are it was a ‘fixed penalty’ that was ratified by the magistrates, but the point is that driving without insurance is an offence.

This article on the government department’s website does not mention anywhere that driving without insurance is ‘non-indictable’ in any situation. On the contrary, it seems to be about how potentially serious it is.

The other thing is that the last part ‘should not affect his position at the council’ is actually word for word part of a response that was given some time ago – when this first came out – but is frankly opinion rather than fact.

I think we will find that there are quite a few people for whom being found guilty of driving without insurance and/or getting 6 points will result in them losing their jobs. Not that this should be automatic for Humphrey, but it seems a little premature to say that it ‘should not’ affect his position.

Why should it not potentially affect his position? He is leader of a council (with some additional responsibilities usually held by Chief Executives), in a position of responsibility affecting tens of thousands of people and with a budget of £millions. As a public servant, it is incumbent upon him to uphold the law. As a councillor, he is bound by Codes of Conduct that deal not just with how someone acts in their role as a councillor, but how they behave generally – particularly in public.

And why is a local newspaper parroting a defence of him as if it’s part of the factual report, especially when the next lines are:

Neither the council nor Mr Humphrey were available for comment.

???

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16 Responses to “Humphrey fined. Press ‘confused’”

  1. LarryDavidJr Says:

    What was the excuse for driving without insurance? I would be itnerested to hear this. At a gues I’ll say its probably along the lines of “I was too busy and forgot” or “someone else was supposed to take care of it”

  2. Danivon Says:

    Apparently he moved house and his insurance company sent a letter to the wrong address, so he didn’t realise that his direct debit payment had not gone through until he was pulled over. He says he was pulled over a second time while on the way to produce his documents from the first time he was stopped.

    Still: did they have the wrong address because he’d not told them of the move? And did he not notice a failed direct debit payment?

  3. Brian Ronnie Says:

    Why would his Direct Debit fail? Insufficient funds appears the only logical answer. Why couldn’t the insurance company contact him? He hadn’t told them of a significant event such as moving house.

    One being indicative of an inability to handle a budget; and the other being indicative of an inability to maintain effective administration.

    Still, good budgeting and administration. What relevance could these have to his role at the council?

    I have no idea for how much longer Mr Humphrey’s ‘friends’ in the council, or fellow Tory sycophants will continue to support him unconditionally.

    I mean, it’s not like he’s a freemason with all the associations that go therewith. Is he? Is he?

  4. Danivon Says:

    It is not recorded on his Register of Interests document, and I have seen reference to the ‘Grand Charity’ on county councillors who are masons. So I don’t see evidence that Humphrey is in the funny handshake brigade.

    On the rest, I don’t know if we can speculate on why the DD bounced, and it may have been a clerical error with his insurer that led to the letter going astray. But still, it is incumbent on a car owner to ensure it is properly insured.

  5. Brian Ronnie Says:

    If not a mason now, I’ve seen him frequently at The Lodge when I’ve previously attended as a guest of a business associate. It all seems a too-close association of movers and shakers, decision makers, law makers and those with the potential to shape Mr Humphrey’s future

  6. Danivon Says:

    On an unrelated note, I found it odd that the recent meeting to ‘relaunch’ Rugby Lions (after the pipedreams of Michael Aland were seen to have left it high and dry) we held at the Freemasons’ hall – arranged at very short notice.

    I’m originally from Sussex, where freemasons were around, but did not have a major or obvious presence in the ‘local elites’. Mind you, my town didn’t have much of an elite. Rugby clearly does, and the Masons are certainly linked to a number of venerable names.

    Of course, they do an awful lot for charidee…

  7. Sally Says:

    And where does charity begin? ;-)

    A number of the ‘local elites’ you refer to might have done very well out of Mr Aland’s plans, so I understand. So, the location being not at all surprising.

    And I would also say that people who may, or may not be mentioned within this article may or may not have been active in lubricating the wheels of the now discarded plans

  8. PLH Says:

    Did you see the Wolston Parish news story in this weeks Rugby Advertiser? It would appear that Cllr. Humphrey is berating and threatening Parish Councils if they oppose development in their villages. Worth a look, it’s pretty explosive!

  9. jon fennell Says:

    There is a Facebook page called Saving Rain brook, it was the anti crematorium site, lot of Humphrey material on there and comments on Wolston

  10. jon fennell Says:

    Joys of fat fingers and tablets :-) , the link is
    http://www.facebook.com/RPRV.NoCrematorium

  11. Danivon Says:

    It’s really weird. I saw Cllr Pacey-Day last night, and I’d only just been talking earlier on about the Craig Humphrey / Chris Pacey-Day fall out over the Wolston plans.

    Planning is not just about popularity (or about political influence) – councils are bound by law to explain why an application it turned down, and the reason(s) have to be able to stick up in an appeal or a review, or the council will be liable.

    At the same time, officers should be able to advise the grounds for turning down a large development, even if they themselves were minded to support it. I’ve never seen before a case where a single councillor who proposed turning down an application was ‘punished’ in this way. What about the other councillors who voted in favour? Are they also to be suspended from the committee? What if even after ‘training’ they still turn down developments that the establishment want?

  12. PLH Says:

    I would never want to make accusations because that is not fair.

    However the facts are this
    - Cllr. Humphrey makes his living by selling homes in Wolston.
    - His firm is an agent for the house builder applying to build 80 houses in Wolston
    - Cllr. Humphrey has “sacked” someone from planning committee for voting against the building of houses in Wolston.
    - Cllr. Humphrey went to Wolston parish council to threaten them with possible damages for lobbying against the Wolston development

    Imagine if this were a national politician rather than just a low-grade local councillor. There would have been a hounding of the politician because of the impression being given of sleaze. However, what we are seeing is an impression being created that damages public trust in the planning process but little or no solution forthcoming.

    It is all very worrying. The lucky thing is that on this blog we all know the real Craig Humphrey. He would never, ever, do something underhand or devious. It isn’t in his nature. Thank goodness we know the truth…

  13. jon Says:

    Perhaps CPD’s treatment goes further and is a personal spat between the pair, I heard that CPD didn’t want to rock the boat in case it brought his party into disrepute, if that was to be the case what else doesn’t he like.
    Humphrey should have to choose Hort’s or council, it just doesn’t look honourable and is wide open to abuse.
    Just why did Bloor spend so much, they must have felt confident the proposal would go through.
    RBC just can’t be trusted and many of the planning officers decision’s are questionable. Asda in the middle of a town?, Cemex, involvement with Willoughby fighting a proposal to make sure RBC/DDC own plan was kept viable. Humpty perhaps is judging everyone by his own actions.

  14. Sally Says:

    Does anyone have an email address for the person(s) who run that Facebook site? :-)

  15. PLH Says:

    It’s probably best to create a faebook account and then message them. I don’t know who’s running it though.

  16. PLH Says:

    For those interested, it might be worth looking at page 13 of the latest Private Eye. The magazine alleges that Cllr. Humphrey has been in court twice this year for not paying his ex-wife and kids maintenance. It also claims that he owes HMRC thousands for non-payment of income tax since 2006.

    I do wonder why the national conservative party doesn’t intervene in order to stop the poisoning of local public opinion agains the party. This is a key marginal for them after all. Leaders of borough/district councils are ten a penny – why lose face keeping this seemingly rotten one in post?


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