The value of friendship

Further to the Martin Heatley expenses affair (these three posts), I decided to look at who was sitting on the Standards meeting that gave him the stern punishment of having to pay back £200 out of £2800 in overclaimed expenses, and make an apology before doing the training he should have done years ago on how not to be a naughty boy.

The three members were the Independent Chairman, John Bridgeman CBE and County Councillors John Vereker CBE and Tim Naylor. I had seen an allegation that one of these was, along with Cllr Heatley, a Freemason.

Looking at the registers of interest, I see that indeed, Cllr Vereker lists the Freemasons Grand Charity on his interests. Cllr Heatley lists “Grand Charity 281943” as an interest also. This number is actually that of the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, but this appears to be a slip of the pen/keyboard as the Grand Charity run by the Freemasons is 281942 (of course, it may be a deliberate attempt to make it hard to link Heatley with the Freemasons)

This means that indeed, both Cllr Heatley and one of his adjudicating panel do seem to be involved in the Freemasons. This smells very fishy indeed.