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Rude councillor is appealing

IT department not safe yet

Suspended Chichester councillor "Taff" Davies is planning to appeal to the high court against a Standards Board decision to punish him for being rude to the council's IT department.

The councillor, a retired Royal Navy Captain and software entrepreneur, claimed that his suspension was a punishment, engineered by Chichester district council executives in retaliation for his criticism of their e-government programme.

"They felt I had to be taught a lesson as a retired Naval engineer, in the words of the barrister [representing the Standards Board], that I need to be taught a lesson that I can't behave like that, which I find amusing at my age, 70 this year, and have been for the last 42 years in software as a weapons engineer."

"I am going to appeal," he said. Though he was not yet sure on what basis to appeal, he was taking advice from a retired judge.

Davies's one year suspension effectively sees him barred from office because the term coincides with the end of his elected tenure.

The Adjudication Panel's reasons for suspending Davies were that he had been rude to IT staff and criticised council executives.

The fact that he had been persistantly irritating was taken by the Case Tribunal last week to "warrant the most severe sanction".

Davies had been rallying against what he thought was a "crap" IT system. In his career he has been a systems engineer on HMS Fife, the Royal Navy's first destroyer with an integrated weapons system. The fleet software support team also reported to him in the Falklands conflict, he said.

Since retiring, he co-founded mapping software firm Nimbus Partners. He also writes Dreamweaver programmes for Trafalgar Compliance Systems. ®

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