Tesco's sour grapes complaint fails ~ Tesco-Complaint

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Tesco's sour grapes complaint fails

Tesco store sign
A council leader accused by Tesco of influencing a planning decision has been cleared of wrongdoing, as reported by the BBC.

Last year Tesco applied to replace Darlington Town Hall at Feethams with a superstore, but the application was thrown out by the council. Before the decision was made council leader John Williams said he was opposed to the development.

The Standards Board received a complaint against him, but said he did not break codes of conduct. A statement from Darlington Council said: "A complaint was submitted to the Standards Board accusing Councillor Williams of predetermining the decision taken by the council about the proposal for a Tesco store in the town centre.

"Before the decision was made Mr Williams had made it clear that he backed the majority of public opinion which was against the development.

'Not surprised'

"The Standards Board accepted that evidence of predetermination could lead to a breach of the Code of Conduct. "But it said that had not happened in relation to the Tesco proposal and therefore the complaint did not justify investigation."

Mr Williams said he was happy to have been cleared. He said: "I'm pleased, but not surprised. "I always knew that it was right for me to give leadership both to the council and more importantly to the majority views of the wider Darlington community on this vitally important Tesco issue.

"The Standards Board judgement clearly demonstrates that I was right to do so."