Councillors accused of misconduct

Faringdon Folly: Faringdon Councillors Matthew Barber and Roger Cox have been accused of misconduct by fellow town councillors over a visit to Lord Faringdon. They have been accused of "going behind the Town Council's back" and undermining the relationship between the Council and Lord Faringdon, owner of the Pump House. The issue of the future of the Pump House has been a matter of controversy in the town in recent years. The Town Council has agreed to fund a refurbishment programme in order to return the disused building to community use. In addition, one possible option is for the Council to move its offices to the Pump House if it were to vacate the Corn Exchange, which is owned by the Vale. The Town Council voted to report Cllr Barber and Cox to the Standards Board which is responsible for overseeing the behaviour of local councillors. An unrepentant Matthew Barber said they visited Lord Faringdon "primarily as district councillors and also as concerned residents". "I do not need permission from anyone to meet whomever I choose. We are concerned by the way the Town Council are going ahead with the Pump House project, despite huge costs and local concerns. Our conversation with Lord Faringdon did not disclose anything that was not already in the public domain. We have a duty to local residents, and it is about time they realised what was being carried out in their name."