Cllr Gary Taylor files complaint against Cllr Welsford over child death question

Cllr Taylor claims that Cllr Welsford has brought the council into disrepute by asking questions about the death of a very young baby.

Cllr Gary Taylor has written to the council’s Monitoring Officer, Davina Fiore, raising a complaint against Cllr Chris Welsford (The full letter is embedded below).

His objection is centred on the Cllr Welsford raising a question about the death of a child on the Island towards the end of last year, at this month’s Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel, which Cllr Taylor stood in to chair.

Concerns should be raised at a briefing
Of particular concern to him is distress that this could have brought to the parents of the child.

He claimed that rather than airing it at the meeting, Cllr Welsford should have requested a briefing or clarification from the relevant council director in private.

Taylor: Not in the public interest
Cllr Taylor says that Cllr Welsford’s actions could not “have been in the public interest to raise the specific circumstances of an individual child’s death during a public discussion into the IW Council’s inadequate safeguarding arrangements”.

These actions have “brought the office into disrepute”, claims Cllr Taylor and he requests that Cllr Welsford no longer be a ‘corporate parent’ and “steps should be taken to ensure that Councillor Welsford does not have continued access to confidential and sensitive information during this time”.

The letter closes by requesting that the council’s Monitoring Officer, Davina Fiore, “… investigate this matter, and take appropriate action if necessary, in order that the standards of our public life on the Island are kept at a level we would all expect …”

The letter
Below is the letter by Cllr Gray Taylor, reproduced in full to clarity. To see it full screen, click the icon in the bottom left corner of the document.

For the record
The October date was originally published in our article, and removed within minutes of the council request. It’s of note that the CP did the same with their online report, we learn from this letter also at the request of the council. The CP went on to print both incorrect and correct dates in their newspaper on Friday, despite them having removed it from their Website on the Wednesday.

We ask readers to respect the privacy of the family of the child who died last year and not comment about the child or the death on this article.

Image: onekcahap under CC BY 2.0

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Wednesday, 13th February, 2013 10:59am



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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30 Comments on "Cllr Gary Taylor files complaint against Cllr Welsford over child death question"

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I’d like to file a complaint regarding the letter please. The punctuation is shocking. Unnecessary commas, inconsistent use of quotes and incorrect usage of hyphens.

Thank you.

martin william wareham

Gary Taylor Head of English for ten years Ryde School.Makes one think.

For how long can Gary Taylor be a part of such an unpopular and controversial council and not have his political activity found to conflict with his job? Quite frankly the Headteacher at Ryde school should ‘have a quiet word.’ He might also mention his awful english. Fronting a complaint is all very well Gary old chum – but in your position, you really should have checked… Read more »
I was speaking to someone the other day who lives in Gary Taylors ward. Gary isn’t exactly popular and there was already a campaign to dump him at the forthcoming election so the Tory party have decided he wont be standing in the ward this time around. All residents have had a circular through their doors which says that Taylor is standing in another ward and proclaims… Read more »

Sunlight – not Davina Fiore – is the best disinfectant.

What a shame its come to one Councillor using procedure against another rather than investigate the substantive issues.

We really do have a “rotten borough”, don’t we?

Be hold

I can’t remember the Independents being too shy in using official complaint procedures themselves in the past.

sam salt

Yes Be hold for all the good it did them. Complaints that should have been proven against senior Councillors were whitewashed over by Council Officers.

There are a lot of dirty tricks going on at the moment and this is just another one. Thank goodness we have the likes of Chris Welsford, Geoff Lumley and Jonathan Bacon.

Robert Jones
The comments above are all very well and I don’t disagree with them so far as they go; but councillors, like anyone else in public life, should not identify individuals in remarks they make in open committee, nor allow circumstances to arise in which they could be identified. I appreciate of course that Chris Welsford would have had strong feelings about these issues, and that he was… Read more »
Keith Fagan

I rather think that Councillor Gary Taylor has missed the point. As I understand this very sad episode resulted in the death of a baby. What is more important the potentially avoidable death of a baby or quoting an incorrect date?

Lessons must be learnt (irrespective of who at the council or social services get their feathers ruffled) as this can not happen again.

Robert Jones

Well – up to a point. The point Taylor is making is that the date, while wrong, is irrelevant: had the date been correct, the actual offence potentially would have been worse – and therefore no date should have been mentioned at all, nor any other possible means of identifying the baby’s family.

Black Dog
Given the cloak of secrecy that this council operates under it is no wonder Councillor Welsford had to resort to this open question. Regrettably Councillor Welsford quoted an incorrect date. However, Ian Anderson stumbled and the truth was out. One just has to read the article in the CP where this very council was severely criticized over a similar tragedy. See below: ” In 2009, there were… Read more »
Retired hack
You’d think that Gary Taylor,who is head of English at Ryde School, presumably considers himself a man of some intellect, would blush at the threadbare nature of the case the Conservatives are asking him to front. Chris Welsford,who got the date wrong,clearly did not identify the child,although the County Press did . So Taylor is reduced to speculating on what the theoretical effects might have been on… Read more »

Some might see it as cynical and shameful to try to use such a complaint to make political capital

Davy Jones
Remember that mere Conservative Councillors are not allowed to make any comment to the press without the consent of the Great Leader – according to the group rules that they all have to sign. So this can only have been released to the press with the approval of the Leader which shows that the Conservative group are seeking to make political capital out of a child’s death?… Read more »
John Ward

Can i just clarify a minor point in this story, if Cllr Stephens were to suspend or eject Cllr Welsford from the Independant’s Group – would he then be an indepandant indepandant?

Janet Scott

:) No, I think he would remain

Retired hack

Why on earth would Ian Stephens do that?


Cripes, who is it who is actually “exploiting this situation”; & who is it who is being cynical when he repeats the alleged age at death in a public letter, the sort of thing he otherwise condemns? Sounds opportunistic to me….

On the surface of this it would seem that Cllr Cameron was replaced as Chairman of the meeting by Cllr Taylor because Taylor could be manipulated to tow the Pugh line. That implies that they had intended all along to setup Chris Welsford at the meeting, which is a very despicable thing to do. It is obvious that this manipulation and despicable behaviour needs to be investigated,… Read more »

Private Eye could adopt the role


On the subject of corporate parenting according to “Looking after other people’s children is one of the most important things councils do. It is the responsibility of all councillors, not just the lead member for children’s services and officers.”

That would include councillors found guilty of engaging in a lewd sex act in a public toilet in that case. How very reassuring

Davy Jones
Hey Gary, Get your pen and paper out. As you are guardian of upholding the code of conduct we need your help. Cllr Pugh said, “In response to a subsequent enquiry, we can confirm that as previously reported, on a date in November 2012, a ten week old baby was pronounced dead having been taken to St Mary’s hospital. Identifying this family by quoting the actual age… Read more »
Under which Councilpolicy did Cllr Traitor make this complaint? If we wish to make a complaint about a councilor this is the policy: “When we receive your complaint, we will write to you acknowledging receipt of your complaint. The member will be sent a copy of the complaint, (on the strict proviso that they do not (at this stage) share it with others (other than to seek… Read more »
Black Dog
Clearly the council are in breach of their own code of conduct. This is a completely bogus complaint probably written by the Boy Blunder and or The George-father Brown. Either way If Councillor Taylor put his name to it he should be ashamed for not reading and or editing it before pressing the send button. The option that Councillor Taylor wrote the letter of complaint is mind… Read more »
It appears that way but we dont know if there is another specific policy for one member making a complaint about another. The Council website is terrible searching for anything on it sends you round and round in circles and the pages take a while to load anyway. This should be a simple matter, its a policy document it should be easily assessable not a secret. The… Read more »
Sally Perry

After the ethical standards committee was abolished last year(, the process for handling complaints was changed (

Hope that helps.

OK thanks Sally, appendix C is just the proposals on the new complaints procedure but looks similar to that above. “1) Receipt of complaint via standard complaint form similar to existing or letter or email. Completed forms will be sent to Democratic Services (as at present). 2) Once complaint received and acknowledged, the member complained of is sent a copy of the complaint and asked to give… Read more »
I. Reader
“The letter closes by requesting that the council’s Monitoring Officer … investigate this matter, and take appropriate action if necessary, in order that the standards of our public life on the Island are kept at a level we would all expect …” And sadly for islanders, realistic expectation is at the Pughtube level. Since that officially whitewashed disgraceful example from one of our rotten borough’s gang leaders,… Read more »
The article Sally linked to included the quote “The latest annual report for the Ethical Standards Committee reveals the number of complaints against councillors has reduced from 34 in 2010-11 to just 18 in 2011-12.” Which is hardly surprising given the pughtube cover up. Everybody I speak to has no confidence in any complaint they might make being investigated fairly and impartially, so they dont bother complaining.… Read more »

I still maintain that a system which allows a councillor to continue in office after being convicted of engaging in a lewd sex act in a public toilet, and yet maintains they have the responsibility of a corporate parent is plain sick and is likely to put children at risk.