Keswick Timeshare Failure Cont.

Started by Newshound, March 19, 2004, 13:57:33

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TONY Perry, the former Allerdale council chief executive who was sacked after a £6 million timeshare project at Keswick failed, this week claimed the long-running battle to clear his name had contributed to his wife's death.

And he told the industrial tribunal that he had been made a scapegoat for the crashed scheme.

Mr Perry, 75, who lives at Bassenthwaite, is claiming he was unfairly dismissed in 1991 by the council. He has been forced to wait so long for a tribunal because of civil litigation.

At the tribunal this week, he attacked a behind-closed-doors meeting of the full Allerdale council, held in January, 1992, which confirmed his sacking.

He claimed that councillors, who had already attended political group meetings beforehand, were subjected to a three-line whip.

He said: "They had used me as a scapegoat and saw me as the only way out of a corner that they had got themselves in."

Mr Perry told the panel that his reputation had been shattered by the decision to sack him after a special committee of councillors ruled that he had misled their colleagues.

He said afterwards: "I have lived with this 24 hours a day for the past 12 years. It is there all the time although it does help a little that I have finally been able to put my side of the story."

Mr Perry - who was cross-examined for about five hours by David Hesselberth, the barrister acting for Allerdale - broke down briefly while giving evidence on Tuesday at the mention of a trip to New Zealand.

He said: "This has killed my wife."

He was 'down under' with his wife on a family visit at the time that the council took the decision to remove him from office following a disciplinary meeting.

Although he had some involvement in the controversial scheme, said Mr Perry, it was Charles Crane - his predecessor - who was the main player.

Mr Perry added: "I was making my contribution but at no time did he let go and hand the scheme over to me.

"I would like to claim it was my scheme but it wasn't. I was doing my bit to assist Mr Crane get the matter before council.

"The principal player was Mr Crane who was chief executive and solicitor at the time reports were presented to the council in 1985 and 1986."

Two firms were interested in developing a timeshare development at Keswick Bridge with any profits being used to fund a town swimming pool.

Mr Perry said it was his job to try and squeeze them to put more in and require less of the council.

He re-iterated that a report, presented in his name while he was treasurer, was not written by him but by his deputy Terry Goodwin. It had been vetted and approved by Mr Crane, he claimed.

Mr Perry said a second report, which asked the council to approve the creation of a limited liability company, was also someone else's work.

The tribunal's decision will be issued in a few weeks' time.

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