Cllr Pugh denies accusation Steve Beynon threatened action against Island MP

Council leader Cllr Pugh refuted the suggestion that Steve Beynon had threatened the MP with action if he moved into the Riverside Centre, calling it a ‘false accusation’. On subsequent examination, it looks like the threats of action were against the Riverside, rather than the MP.

Riverside Centre

At the beginning of last night’s Isle of Wight council Cabinet meeting, Cowes resident Tanja Rebel (a regular at many council meetings) raised a query in relation to the Riverside Centre.

She asked, “My question is whether the Chief Executive (Steve Beynon), before he leaves, would be so kind as to answer why he threatened the MP with action for being at the Riverside Centre.”

Pugh: “False accusation”
This was immediately refuted by the leader of the council who was chairing the meeting, Cllr David Pugh. He stated, “Your suggestion is a false accusation.”

Newport resident Steven Goodman called out from the public gallery, “not according to the email he sent,” which was followed by Ms Rebel replying, “I saw the quote in the County Press, so are you saying the CP are lying?”

“I think if you want to look at that carefully and perhaps put that claim in writing, we’ll be happy to respond.” said Cllr Pugh, who then moved swiftly onto the next agenda item.

Beynon: “We will take action”
As cited by Ms Rebel, the County Press did carry an article about the Riverside Centre on page four of the paper on 25th January 2013.

The opening paragraph reads, “Papers leaked to the County Press reveal the IW Council’s chief executive threatened to take action if Island MP Andrew Turner moved into an office at the troubled Riverside Centre.”

Leaked documents
OnTheWight has also been shown documents surrounding issues at the Riverside Centre, including an email from Steve Beynon dated March 2011, the day before MP Andrew Turner moved into the Riverside.

In relation to the move, Steve Beynon wrote, “If this does happen it will be a clear breach of the lease and we will take action …”.

Riverside threatened not MP
On careful re-examination of the details, it appears Steve Beynon was threatening to take action against the Riverside Centre, not the MP, if the MP were to move his constituency office in to the Riverside Centre.

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Wednesday, 13th February, 2013 12:52pm



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

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11 Comments on "Cllr Pugh denies accusation Steve Beynon threatened action against Island MP"

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Is the Conservative Council in desperate measures (meltdown)? 1.Compromise agreements (pays-offs) for wronged staff to keep them quiet. 2.Cllr. Lumley removed from Council chamber. 3.Cllr. Welsford gets an official complaint preventing his access to sensitive documents. 4.Steve Beynon threatens ‘action’ against the MP, or was it the Riverside Centre ? 5.Termination of Council debates by the Chair. 6.Schools in special measures. Other councils unwilling to help. 7.Obfuscation… Read more »
mike starke
OK, let’s rephrase the question to avoid the initial error: “Whether Isle of Wight Council chief executive Steve Beynon, before he leaves, would be so kind as to answer why he threatened the Riverside Centre’s management with action over the MP’s rental of office space at the centre?” I venture to suggest that Cllr David Pugh could have better served the true purpose of public questions and… Read more »
Island Monkey
As ever, this disgraceful council dances on a pin-head to deflect attention from the actual issue. Their last days could almost be amusing, instead they’re quite pitiful. The bunker mentality has overwhelmed them. Poor Steve, last week blaming bloggers for everything and anything, now pretending that either his emails don’t exist or he’s confused about who his target was? Sorry Steve, it was you wot dun it,… Read more »
Robert Jones
Just as a matter of interest – was it a “clear breach of the lease” or not? This does rather illustrate the danger of asking these people the wrong question – all we’ve got is David Pugh sidestepping a serious question through a piece of pedantry you might describe as quick-witted, or alternatively as amoral and opportunistic. The issue itself goes un-investigated … Frankly, I should guess… Read more »
I’ve never felt comfortable that there is one, party political office at the Riverside. I suppose you could say that a sitting MP becomes apolitical, (does s/he?), so it doesn’t matter; but to put a Tory (or any other single party) at the heart of a shared, Island icon, seems to me like piggy-backing on the goodwill generated by the Riverside over the years, & unfairly spreading… Read more »

The launch of the Independent election campaign happens on Monday 18th Feb. at the Riverside Centre, 6pm.
Is this a breach of the lease or do the Indies not count as a political party ?


Makes you wonder just how many toys crybaby Beynon must have in his pram

adrian nicholas

Given Benyon and Pugh’s response – can we therefore have an assurrance from Messrs. Benyon & Pugh, that a similar letter was sent to the Riverside management on contravention of lease, regarding the the hiring of a riverside room talk on tax avoidance -sorry efficiency given to Tory ladies by fellow Tory Cllr. Giles?

For goodness sake- the comments made on this site are right but we need to persuade the Islands silent majority to get out on May 2nd and help us to get rid of the County Hall incumbents, they have proved beoynd any doubt that a) they are well past their use by date. b) they are incapable of listening to anyone other than their party spin doctors… Read more »

It is time to get party politics out of local government, but I now think we need some protesting direct action at County Hall (or down by the Riverside)to make people realise what’s going on.
It’s almost our duty to expose this bunch and save our local democracy.

Julia Hill

It is very worrying that the Council Leader does not seem to know what is going on in his own Council. The serious case review, the riverside. The Council is failing in so many areas. Please sign this petition for the resignation of Councillor Pugh launched today