Nazi jibe row rumbles on

Coun. Ian Smith.
Coun. Ian Smith.

A PRESCOT councillor’s fight to overturn his Town Hall suspension has been given a boost.

Coun Ian Smith (pictured right) was given the ban for branding Knowsley Council officials ‘Nazis’ during a row over the future of Prescot Leisure Centre.

But that suspension has been lifted after the Local Government Standards in England gave permission to appeal against the decision. The appeal will be heard in January next year.

“Obviously there is still a long way to go but this is a positive step for me,” said Coun Smith, who represents the Prescot West ward and is Prescot Town Council leader.

He was found guilty of breaching the council’s code of conduct after a probe by its standards committee found he’d 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 retired teacher’s conduct.

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

A council spokesman said: “The tribunal has stated that the decision to allow the appeal to proceed should not be taken as an indication of the outcome of the matter. Councillor Smith is permitted to carry out his duties with Knowsley Council and Prescot Town Council until the appeal is heard.”