Fringe Box



Letter: I Am Appalled By Councillor’s Comments

Published on: 22 May, 2015
Updated on: 23 May, 2015

MJ Old BaileyFrom Gerald Bland

I am utterly appalled by the comments made by Cllr Tony Rooth [Con, Pilgrims] on Tuesday evening’s council meeting, coming, as they do, from a former leader of the council and former solicitor.

Monika Juneja’s guilty pleas on 11th May, two working days after the council elections, changes everything. We now know she misrepresented her degree qualification to get to law school and then did the same thing at law school turning her failure at the bar exams into a pass.

When a complaint was made against her in February 2014 she continued to maintain she had obtained the required qualifications to be able to be called to the Bar. Dr Hooper was thus persuaded and the complaint failed.

It’s now plain Dr.Hooper’s decision in March 2014 was wrong. Ms. Juneja misled fellow councillors, officers and the community and she continued to be a paid councillor until earlier this month. The complaint should be reopened and the wasted costs paid by Ms Juneja.

Her subsequent changes, both in legal representation and her delayed guilty pleas, have all the hallmarks of someone clinging onto power and standing for as long as possible.

A letter from the council to each of the University of Greenwich and BPP Law School would have quickly established the true facts. One can only assume this was not done and that, in common with Cllr Rooth, the full implications of the guilty plea and the governance issues it raises have not been understood by senior officers and other members of the new council Executive.

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Responses to Letter: I Am Appalled By Councillor’s Comments

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    May 22, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I think Gerald is being over generous. I’d hope all our elected councillors fully understand the implications of the failure to properly investigate the first complaints concerning Ms Juneja, and the council’s self governance.

    What is appalling is the continued insistence that the council and the Conservative group have made no mistakes and done nothing wrong, and thus there are no lessons to be learnt.

    In addition to the direct doubt this raises about the Executive, it also spins off indirect questions on the judgement of senior councillors.

    Cllr Mainsbridge insists that apart from declaring external interest, nothing more needs to be disclosed. But his judgement at entering into, and continuing, two directorships in Ms Juneja’s business, whilst she was under police investigation, was at least poor and certainly not consistent with the expectations of a council leader.

  2. John Robson Reply

    May 22, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I wouldn’t worry it’s Day 4 of “Honesty and Integrity” week.

    I’m sure the requisite governance is in place to ensure no more councillors are forced to resign.

    Failing that the general public will regulate the council.

  3. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    May 22, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Anyone who mistakes seeking the truth for hunting a witch clearly has either no understanding of, nor respect for, proper governance.

  4. Michael Bruton Reply

    May 23, 2015 at 11:21 am

    It is normally Labour controlled councils known for being awful.

    Reading the comments, particularly those of Mr Bland, is Guildford now the Tory equivalent?

  5. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 26, 2015 at 8:50 am

    The success of the case was due to the police gathering inconvertible evidence from Juneja’s home. For doing this, they were castigated by Mansbridge, and the defence barrister in court, for turning up to her home in force. If they had not done so, there is every possibility that the evidence would have been destroyed, and the crimes not uncovered.

    The police are to be congratulated, not criticised for their actions, and remaining professional and impartial throughout.

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