Email sent – Sat 01/08/2009 08:58

c.c. barry khan;;; John Schultz; Leader;; STUNELL, Andrew

Dear Standards Board

Please see the email below from the Leader of Stockport Council.

The background story is that when a council taxpayer who got no help from Stockport Council with his out-of-area adopted daughters for over a decade, he stood on the Town Hall steps for two years in the manner of Brian Haw, the Parliamentary anti-war protester, in the hope that Stockport Council would do something. Well, they certainly did! They had him arrested circa 11 times despite the legal right to peaceful protest and peaceful protest was all he ever did.  They called the police over 80 times to him, took him to court in January last year only to drop the case that time on the day of the hearing.  He then was taken to court charged with assault with a sneeze with intent to inflect a council employee with a cold (pre swine flu).  CCTV evidence of the non-event was not allowed to be shown in court.  The Council then had Mr. Parnell arrested again for breaking his bail conditions by using the public lavatory in the town hall.  For this he spent four days in Forrest Bank prison.

Below is the email sent to me by the Leader of Stockport Council apparently gloating at the fate of this poor man in being sent to prison and enclosing what I believe to be confidential court documents.  Mr. Parnell, the town hall protester, has since given permission for me to have access to his personal information but at the time the Leader sent that email he was not aware of that fact.  I couldn’t get any documents from the court regarding Mr. Parnell due to data protection reasons.  This man had to go to prison, leaving his already very troubled adopted daughters with yet more emotional and financial hardship.  Why would Councillor Goddard gloat about such a thing, and that is apparently what he is doing in this email? If someone had to inform me, why not our McCavity-like Council Solictor (who is never there) in a proper manner?

In addition at an Executive Council meeting in November 2008 Councillor Goddard called me a liar and said I repeatedly lied in the press. This meeting was packed with members of the public.  I am known as a local campaigner on several issues including the environment. This caused me a great deal of distress and damage to my reputation.  To be publicly branded that by the Leader of the Council, and there was no objection from the council officer chairing that meeting to that language as there would have been had it been used against another councillor, would make the council officers and members of the public think there was no smoke without fire.

I was upset and repeatedly wrote to Councillor Goddard asking for evidence of any lies I had inadvertently told and that I would immediately write to the local press to correct any incorrect statements I might have made.  I didn’t get the courtesey of a reply.  I asked him at the full Council Meeting in December 2008 for evidence of the lies I had told in the press, which he promised in his response to my public question to send me.  By February 2009 I had heard nothing back from him so I again raised the issue in the full council meeting in a public question at which point to a packed council chamber and public gallery with members of the publicCouncillor Goddard repeated that I had lied and lied in the local press.

I took the matter to the Standards Committee of Stockport Council months and months ago but have yet to have the courtesey of a reply never mind any kind of resolution of this issue.  I have taken up the matter with my local MP, but am not confident of any resolution from that quarter.

I hope you will look into this matter. There are very, very grave problems with the way Stockport Council is run – in many instances illegally – and I for one will not tolerate what it going on here.

Much obliged if you could look into this.

Kind regards


—– Original Message —–

From: Cllr Dave Goddard

To: sheilaoliver

Sent: Monday, July 20, 2009 5:40 PM

Subject: Mr. Parnell

Dear Sheila

Mr. Parnell was charged with breaching the ASBO on 16th and 17th July 2009 by entering the Town Hall. He appeared at Stockport Magistrates Court from custody on 18th July 2009. He was apparently adamant that he would not abide by bail conditions and so was remanded in custody to Forest Bank to appear today.

He did appear today. He pleaded not guilty and elected Crown Court trial. His next appearance is before the Magistrates on 14th September 2009. Today his solicitor applied for bail which was opposed by the CPS. The Magistrates did grant bail. I have attached the actual bail notice. His condition is not to come within 1 mile of the Town Hall. The only exception is when he is appearing in court or by prior written appointment made by his solicitor. There is no exception for attendance at any meeting within that exclusion zone and that was made clear to him. These conditions appear to be unambiguous. It is fair to say that Parnell was less than enthusiastic about these conditions.

Just keeping you in the loop.

Fondest wishes,


Ps, Glad you enjoyed the Stepping Hill by-election it makes it all worth it.

Stockport Council is officially one of the best in the country.
Awarded four stars and improving strongly by the Audit Commission March 2009.

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