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Pendle 'alms house' row councillor is cleared
A COUNCILLOR who was accused of abusing her position to secure tenancy on a cottage in Nelson has been cleared following a Pendle Council investigation.
Labour councillor Kathleen Shore was accused of wrongdoing by her Conservative and BNP colleagues after she was awarded a tenancy on an alms house, shortly after resigning as a trustee of the group responsible for the properties.
But while a Pendle Council investigation said that the allegation that the trust had awarded a property to one of its trustees was not proven, it did express ‘surprise’ that she had felt it appropriate to apply for the property.
Coun Shore said: “I was very angry that both BNP and Conservatives had made out that I was a liar and a cheat. In my decades of service to the people of Pendle, I have never abused my position and never will.”
The row was highlighted in election leaflets distributed by both the BNP and the Tories in the May local elections.
Labour group leader Coun Mohammed Iqbal called for the Conservatives and BNP to apologise to Coun Shore following the report, but Tory leader Coun Joe Cooney said his group ‘stands by the comments we have made on the issue’.
Coun Shore had applied for one of the Walton Cottages, in Nelson, while still a trustee in 2011. She was not awarded the property at this time after fellow trustee, BNP councillor Brian Parker, rejected her application.
A few months later Coun Parker resigned from the trust, and then another cottage become available. Coun Shore’s application was then re-considered and shortly after resigning from the trust she was awarded the property.
She has since spent £7,000 of her own money on improving the cottage, and sold her house in Brierfield to a family friend at a knock-down price.