Councillor Melvyn Caplan declaration of Personal/Prejudicial Members Interests

Mr Michael Eaton-Jones made this Freedom of Information request to Westminster City Council

The request was refused by Westminster City Council.

From: Mr Michael Eaton-Jones

23 November 2010

Dear Sirs,

I am requesting information under the Freedom Of Information Act
2000.

i) Do all members of Westminster Council have an obligation under
the Local Authorities ( Model Code of Conduct ) England, 2007 to
declare any personal or prejudicial interests before Council
meetings?

ii) Does the above also apply in respect to Part 2 (Section 8,9 and
10)of the Westminster Council Members' Code of Conduct and Members'
Conflict of Interest (protocols/guidelines)?

iii) If the answer is yes to both i) and ii) could you explain why
Councillor Melvyn Caplan has failed to declare that his partner is
a school Finance Officer in a Westminster primary school.

iv) As Councillor Caplan is the Member for Finance why has he also
failed to make this declaration at budget and finance meetings
where school budgets have been set?

v) Why did Councillor Caplan fail to make this declaration at
Building Schools for the Future meetings that he attends as the
school in question was awarded funds under the BSF programme?

vi) Please confirm how a member of the public can make a complaint
about a Councillor for failure to declare an interest as in i) and
ii) above?

Yours faithfully,

Mr Michael Eaton-Jones

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Westminster City Council

23 November 2010

Confirmation of Freedom Of Information Request

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request details have now been recorded and will be passed on to the
appropriate Divisional Records Officer for action.

This Freedom Of Information Request was based on the following
information:

Name: Mr Michael Eaton-Jones
Address: See email address
Email: [FOI #52634 email]
Telephone:
Request Details: i) Do all members of Westminster Council have an
obligation under
the Local Authorities ( Model Code of Conduct ) England, 2007 to
declare any personal or prejudicial interests before Council
meetings?

ii) Does the above also apply in respect to Part 2 (Section 8,9 and
10)of the Westminster Council Members' Code of Conduct and Members'
Conflict of Interest (protocols/guidelines)?

iii) If the answer is yes to both i) and ii) could you explain why
Councillor Melvyn Caplan has failed to declare that his partner is
a school Finance Officer in a Westminster primary school.

iv) As Councillor Caplan is the Member for Finance why has he also
failed to make this declaration at budget and finance meetings
where school budgets have been set?

v) Why did Councillor Caplan fail to make this declaration at
Building Schools for the Future meetings that he attends as the
school in question was awarded funds under the BSF programme?

vi) Please confirm how a member of the public can make a complaint
about a Councillor for failure to declare an interest as in i) and
ii) above?

FOI Reference Number: 6211
Target Completion Date: 21/12/2010

Please do not reply to this email.
This is an automatic response to your request, and replies to this message
will not be actioned.

If you need to contact Westminster City Council regarding your request,
please contact:

mailto:[Westminster City Council request email]
Tel:020 7641 3921

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From: Mr Michael Eaton-Jones

24 December 2010

Dear Westminster City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Westminster City
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Councillor Melvyn Caplan
declaration of Personal/Prejudicial Members Interests'.

By law you should hve responded by 22 December 2010 but have not
done so.

Please provide the information asked for and also full details of
why you have delayed your response.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Michael Eaton-Jones

Link to this

B.Coleman (Account suspended) left an annotation ( 6 January 2011)

Quote-marks Have a goosey gander at this...........

http://www.justgiving.com/louisehyams

and this..........

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...

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Simon Jones left an annotation (11 January 2011)

Quote-marks According to reliable sources there has been a flurry of activity at Companies House following this FOI request, with various directorships being terminated and new appointments being made. As a knee-jerk reaction this probably seemed like a good idea at the time but once an investigation is under way it may end up looking rather telling.

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From: FOI
Westminster City Council

11 January 2011

Dear Mr Eaton-Jones,

Thank you for your request which you submitted on the 23^rd November
2010.

Your original request has been considered and has been found to be outside
of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it does not ask for
recorded information.

Due to the nature of the request, therefore, it has been passed to the
Legal Services Monitoring Officer (Peter Large) for response.

You have also asked for an Internal Review, by way of an email on the
24^th December 2010, into the handling of your request due to the fact you
had not received a response. Please accept our apologies for the delay in
responding to you, but as this is not an FOI request we are unable to
undertake an Internal Review.

Should you have any further queries please contact me care of the details
below.

Yours sincerely,

Tanya Holden

DP & FOI Officer

Knowledge & Information Management Team

101 Orchardson Street

London

NW8 8EA

T: 0207 641 6451

F: 0207 641 2872

E: [1][email address]

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1. mailto:[email address]

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From: Mr Michael Eaton-Jones

14 January 2011

Dear Westminster City Council,

You should be mindful that all statements made by yourselves in
response to this request may be used as evidence of collusion in
unlawful activity should this case or associated cases be brought
for judgement in front of Her Majesty's Courts in England and
Wales.

Should it be ascertained beyond all reasonable doubt, that
Westminster officers allowed Councillor Melvyn Caplan a protracted
period of time to “cover his tracks” before providing a response to
this request, then please be aware that a charge of wilful
collusion may be brought against said officers.

Should it further be ascertained beyond all reasonable doubt, that
certain Westminster Councillors had prior knowledge of Melvyn
Caplan's failure to declare his personal/prejudicial interests,
they are duly reminded that this renders them liable to charges of
collusion (and/or accessories to the fact) in regards to this
unlawful act (and associated activities).

I am hereby declaring that I have no confidence in your Local
Authority to carry out it's statutory duties and obligations in a
lawful manner. As such I direct you to send all details of this
complaint to Mr Bob Neill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of
State for Local Government, for his urgent attention.

I further direct you to make immediate representation to the
Minister of State for Criminal Justice, Mr Nick Herbert MP in
relation to this complaint (and associated complaints).

I further direct you to pass all details of these complaints (and
associated complaints) to Mr Richard Alderman, Director of the
Serious Fraud Office.

It is of the utmost importance that an Independent Police
Investigation into alleged unlawful activity at Westminster City
Council is commenced forthwith. It is my recommendation that this
shall not be undertaken by the Metropolitan Police owing to the
close links with said Authority maintained by current and former
Westminster Councillors.

I further direct any Westminster Councillors to table a “ motion of
non-confidence “ in the leadership of the Council pursuant to the
matters raised above.

A failure to adhere to these directions will be interpreted by the
majority as tantamount to an admission of guilt.

FOR INFORMATION:

Please be aware that as fraud is an indictable act under the Fraud
Act 2006 a citizen is able to make a lawful arrest under s.24 PACE
(amended by SOCAPA).

The Offence of Fraud (Fraud Act 2006):

• (S)2: Fraud by False Representation—

(1) A person is in breach of this section if he—
(a) dishonestly makes a false representation, and
intends, by making the representation—
(i) to make a gain for himself or another, or
(ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of
loss.

(2) A representation is false if—
(a) it is untrue or misleading, and
(b) the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or
misleading.

(3) “Representation” means any representation as to fact or law,
including a representation as to the state of mind of—
(a) the person making the representation, or
(b) any other person.

(4) A representation may be express or implied.

(5) For the purposes of this section a representation may be
regarded as made if it (or anything implying it) is submitted in
any form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or
respond to communications (with or without human intervention).

• (S)3: Fraud by Failing to Disclose Information—

(1) A person is in breach of this section if he—
(a) dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information
which he is under a legal duty to disclose, and
(b) intends, by failing to disclose the information—
(i) to make a gain for himself or another, or
(ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of
loss.

• (S)4: Fraud by Abuse of Position—

(1) A person is in breach of this section if he—
(a) occupies a position in which he is expected to safeguard, or
not to act against, the financial interests of another person,
(b) dishonestly abuses that position, and
(c) intends, by means of the abuse of that position—
(i) to make a gain for himself or another, or
(ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of
loss.
(2) A person may be regarded as having abused his position even
though his conduct consisted of an omission rather than an act.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Michael Eaton-Jones

Link to this

I,Julius left an annotation (17 January 2011)

Quote-marks Ignavia;ratio te in fugam atque iu latebras impulit.

Link to this

I,Claudius left an annotation (20 January 2011)

Quote-marks Nulla avaritia sine poena est.

Link to this

Blue left an annotation (20 January 2011)

Quote-marks I think you will be waiting a long time for Legal Services Monitoring Officer Peter Large to even reply to you on this, and would take this to the next stage now. Mr Large has failed to reply to my letters on several occasions and is still ignoring his correspondence. So judging by my experiences you may be wasting your time waiting for nothing.

But there are many people following this, and we would be grateful to learn of your progress in this case, so if you do take this further please put up a comment where we may continue to follow your progress, thanks.

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Simon Jones left an annotation (25 January 2011)

Quote-marks Someone's been busy trying to hide the "evidence" !

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/8...

But it's too late.....the cat is out of the bag!!!!!!!!

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Mr Michael Eaton-Jones left an annotation (26 January 2011)

Quote-marks Dear Blue and others,

Your kind words and interest in this request are most appreciated.

Do not be unduly worried by the lack of response from Westminster as it is to be expected under the circumstances.What can they say? How they can they mitigate the damage that has been caused?

Fortunately we have in our possession evidence attesting to the fact that Melvyn Caplan has a long-term partner called Kim Caplan who is employed at Robinsfield Primary school. This is not in doubt.

We only await the reasons as to why such a personal and prejudicial interest has never been declared by Councillor Caplan or indeed several other Councillors who have colluded in this silence.

Have patience my friends. All will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Kindest regards.

Mr Michael Eaton Jones

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D.Smith left an annotation (31 January 2011)

Quote-marks Not sure if you'll have much luck with the Serious Fraud Office.They seem to use the same barristers chambers as Westminster.

http://15oldbaileychambers.com/people/ba...

http://www.charterchambers.com/Barrister...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/se...

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D.Smith left an annotation ( 2 February 2011)

Quote-marks Had a feeling this might happen!

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/we...

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From: Large, Peter
Westminster City Council

10 February 2011

Dear Mr Eaton Jones

I have been passed your letter dated 23 November 2010 by the City
Council's FOI team and asked to respond to it. I apologise for the delay
in doing so.

I set out my views on your questions below:

(i) Do all members of Westminster City Council have an obligation under
the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) England {Regulations} 2007
to declare any personal or prejudicial interests before Council meetings?

No, that is not an accurate way of putting it.

The obligation on members is to comply with the Code of Conduct, not the
Regulations to which you refer. Members of the Council have an obligation
under the Code of Conduct to do two things in this context. The first is
to register certain personal interests which are defined in the Code. The
second arises when the Member is attending a meeting or taking a decision
on a matter in which he or she has an interest. The obligation in the
latter case, subject to certain exceptions, is to declare any interest
which is a personal interest, and the nature of that interest, before the
matter is discussed or as soon as it becomes apparent. Where the interest
is also a prejudicial interest there is an additional obligation to
declare that the interest is a prejudicial interest and (again subject to
certain exceptions) to leave the room.

(ii) Does the above also apply in respect of Part 2 (Section 8, 9 and 10)
of the Westminster Council Members' Code of Conduct and Members' Conflict
of Interest (protocols/guidelines)?

The City Council's Code of Conduct for Members is in exactly the same
terms as the Model Code.

(iii) If the answer is yes to both (i) and (ii) could you explain why
Councillor Melvyn Caplan has failed to declare that his partner is a
school Finance Officer in a Westminster primary school.

Not applicable.

But the position is that the matter to which you refer is not a
registrable interest under the Code of Conduct. I am not aware of
Councillor Caplan having taken any decision or having attended any meeting
at which he has failed to declare a personal or prejudicial interest when
he should have done so.

(iv) As Councillor Caplan is the Member for Finance why has he also failed
to make this declaration at budget and finance meetings where school
budgets have been set.

As far as I am aware he hasn't so failed - see above

(v) Why did Councillor Caplan fail to make this declaration at Building
Schools for the Future meetings that he attends as the school in question
was awarded funds under the BSF programme?

Again, on the information available to me this allegation is unfounded.
The school in question has not been awarded funds under the BSF programme.
When Councillor Caplan has attended meetings on BSF no decisions in
relation to the school have been taken. When decisions in relation to the
school have been taken they have not been taken by Councillor Caplan.

(vi) Please confirm how a member of the public can make a complaint about
a Councillor for failure to declare an interest as in (i) and (ii) above?

Guidance on complaints relating to member conduct is set out on the City
Councilk's website here:

[1]http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/c...

If you intend to make a complaint, in order to enable it to be considered
please ensure that you provide details of the meeting, decision or other
occasion on or at which any alleged failure to declare an interest has
occurred.

I note the contents of your letter dated 14 January

Yours sincerely

Peter Large
Head of Legal and Democratic Services
T: 02076412711
F: 02076413325

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References

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Link to this

Zippy left an annotation (10 February 2011)

Quote-marks OH MY GOD it's true!!!!!!

Caplan's in for it now.......oh dear

Link to this

I,Claudius left an annotation (12 February 2011)

Quote-marks Dum excusare credis, accusas...

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Simon Jones left an annotation (14 February 2011)

Quote-marks Has anybody here seen my old friend Melvyn? Can you tell me where he's gone? He deceived a lot of people but it seems the truth has come. Has anyone seen my old friend Melvyn? I just looked around and he was gone.........

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From: Mr Michael Eaton-Jones

25 February 2011

Dear Mr Large,

You have sought to give me your views on this matter.

I would not deign to accept your views on any legal or moral issue
if you were the last person walking on God's earth.

Melvyn Caplan has corrupted the good office of Local Authority
Councillor by deliberately not declaring that his common-law wife
is a school finance officer.

This type of subterfuge would only take place if something of a
fraudulent nature was taking place. Caplan will most assuredly pay
for this omission.

Finally ,if you and others naively believe that I am only
investigating breaches of your Code of Conduct you are extremely
misguided.

Very soon the the full and ugly truth about what has been taking
place within the upper echelons of power at Westminster Council
will be revealed. When this happens it will make events in the
Middle East look like a day at the races.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Michael Eaton-Jones

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Mr Michael Eaton-Jones left an annotation (15 April 2011)

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