Councillor suspended for making ‘Nazi’ jibe

Coun. Ian Smith.
Coun. Ian Smith.

A LEADING Prescot councillor has been suspended after branding town hall officials “Nazis”.

Councillor Ian Smith’s outburst has earned him a four month long ban from his role by Knowsley Council.

The Liberal Democrat, who is a ward councillor for Prescot and town council leader, was found guilty of breaching the council’s code of conduct following a probe by its standards committee.

His remarks followed a cabinet report into the controversial downgrading of Prescot Leisure Centre, which Coun Smith opposes.

On his Facebook page, he described town hall staff as “Nazis at Knowsley destroying our town”.

Three officials - chief executive Sheena Ramsey, NHS KNowsley chief executive Anita Marsland, and council leisure chief Andrew McCormick - complained about the former teacher’s behaviour.

Coun Smith also emailed Ms Marsland saying her recommendations to downgrade Prescot Leisure Centre were “criminal”, and demanding she and Mr McCormick resign.

The committee also found Coun Smith guilty of bullying council officials, misusing his council computer, compromising officials’ impartiality and bringing the council into disrepute.

Coun Smith’s ban will be reduced by one month if he delivers a written apology to the council.

A council spokesman said: “The committee considered a number of complaints against Coun Smith and agreed he had committed several breaches of the code of conduct for elected members.

“As a result, he was suspended from his role as an elected member for Prescot West for four months and is not permitted to carry out any official duties during that time.”

Coun Smith is refusing to apologise and says he will appeal against the decision.

He said: “The punishment from Knowsley is vindictive. I’ve been fighting a rearguard action against their plans for Prescot.

“They don’t like and because of that there a few bruises egos over there and I’m feeling the brunt of the reaction. I’ve nothing to apologise for. I’m going to appeal and we’ll see after that.”