Pair tell of 'relief' at being cleared of Torfaen fraud

Free Press Series: CLEARED: (L-R) Farooq Dastgir and Gary Inchliffe after they were found not guilty CLEARED: (L-R) Farooq Dastgir and Gary Inchliffe after they were found not guilty

A BUSINESSMAN and a senior Torfaen council officer cleared of fraud spoke of their relief after a jury unanimously acquitted them yesterday.

Farooq Dastgir, 53, ran an IT centre dealing with data from Torfaen Council, Monmouthshire Council and Gwent Police before he was suspended on full pay in 2011.

He and his co-defendant Gary Inchliffe were accused of false accounting during a high profile three-week trial in which the prosecution claimed Mr Dastgir used council money to pay for a South Wales Argus supplement advertising digital developments in Torfaen which he was told should be funded through private sponsorship.

The prosecution had claimed  Mr Inchliffe, 52, had agreed to submit a “sham” invoice of £10,000 for cabling work which had never been, and would never be, done. His company Camelot IT South Wales would use the money to sponsor the supplement, the court was told.

But the defence said the invoice was legitimate and related to work which would be done in the future. This kind of payment was not unusual, the court heard.

A jury took less than three hours to return its verdict at Cardiff Crown Court. Following the trial, Mr Dastgir, of Coed Camlas, New Inn, said: “I’m very relieved. The whole community has stood with me – they’re pleased to see that justice has happened.

“I hope that everything goes Ok now. The thing that really hurt me was that nobody spoke to me. I was just sent out, outcast. I would have loved anybody to speak to me for five minutes.

“The last two and a half years have been a great strain for me and my family, whose love and support has kept me strong.

“Had my employees been allowed to discuss these allegations with me before the police investigation was commenced I am confident that no criminal charges would ever have been proffered.

“I have done nothing wrong. I have given 28 years of loyal service to Torfaen and I hope I am able to return to my post in the near future.

“I’m sorry I can’t talk a lot at the moment because I have to go through an internal disciplinary process. I would like to thank my legal team and my colleagues and friends, whose faith in me has never wavered during this difficult time.”

Gary Inchliffe, of Beechcroft, Trelewis, said the whole process had been “horrendous; a nightmare. I’m just so relieved that my wife and I and the company can now put all of this behind us and concentrate on the business again. It has been an extremely difficult two and a half years and caused both physical and emotional strain. I am so grateful to all those who believed and supported me throughout this period.”

Mr Inchliffe’s barrister Adrian Maxwell said following the trial: “This investigation and trial was a highly unfortunate waste of public funds ending in a three-week trial of two men, two hard-working men, who were servants of their community.

"It should never have been brought before the criminal justice system. There may have been errors made by each party in this case but they were never matters that should have been subject to the criminal justice system. Perhaps lessons will have been learned as to investigations into men and women in local authorities trying to serve the public.”

A Torfaen County Borough Council spokesman said Mr Dastgir would now face an internal investigation: “Following the crown court verdict, there remain outstanding internal processes which must take place to determine the appropriate course of action.”

Earlier in the trial Judge Rhys Rowlands directed jurors to return not guilty verdicts for two of the charges facing Mr Dastgir, of false accounting and misconduct in public office.

Comments (22)

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7:15am Wed 21 May 14

indy2012 says...

T.C.B.C. You must stop this practice of giving company's forward payments for work that will be done in the future, it is Torfaen residents money that you are playing with, what if the company went bankrupt after you have paid them, someone has made an almighty gaff on this one.
T.C.B.C. You must stop this practice of giving company's forward payments for work that will be done in the future, it is Torfaen residents money that you are playing with, what if the company went bankrupt after you have paid them, someone has made an almighty gaff on this one. indy2012
  • Score: 17

12:30pm Wed 21 May 14

altom23 says...

indy2012 wrote:
T.C.B.C. You must stop this practice of giving company's forward payments for work that will be done in the future, it is Torfaen residents money that you are playing with, what if the company went bankrupt after you have paid them, someone has made an almighty gaff on this one.
So so true. Will heads roll??... doubt it very much. There are too many high ranking Torfaen employees and councillors involved in this case!

As some one said yesterday I would love to be a fly on the wall on his return to work interview!!
[quote][p][bold]indy2012[/bold] wrote: T.C.B.C. You must stop this practice of giving company's forward payments for work that will be done in the future, it is Torfaen residents money that you are playing with, what if the company went bankrupt after you have paid them, someone has made an almighty gaff on this one.[/p][/quote]So so true. Will heads roll??... doubt it very much. There are too many high ranking Torfaen employees and councillors involved in this case! As some one said yesterday I would love to be a fly on the wall on his return to work interview!! altom23
  • Score: 10

3:28pm Wed 21 May 14

Jewellery10 says...

This fiasco is evidence that management practices within Torfaen County Borough Council appear to be shambolic.

Placing 'power' into the hands of one person is never a good thing to do. Who were the 2 or more signatories that should have been authorising payment against invoices for work already carried out? It appears that "exceptional" circumstances to pay in advance for goods or services delivered were the "norm" here.

Being the critical person that I am, I would not take the word of one person, however "well respected" they appear. Facts must be supported from two or more separate sources, Perhaps Mr Dastgir needs to be reminded that accounting practice rules are in place for a reason....
This fiasco is evidence that management practices within Torfaen County Borough Council appear to be shambolic. Placing 'power' into the hands of one person is never a good thing to do. Who were the 2 or more signatories that should have been authorising payment against invoices for work already carried out? It appears that "exceptional" circumstances to pay in advance for goods or services delivered were the "norm" here. Being the critical person that I am, I would not take the word of one person, however "well respected" they appear. Facts must be supported from two or more separate sources, Perhaps Mr Dastgir needs to be reminded that accounting practice rules are in place for a reason.... Jewellery10
  • Score: 11

3:31pm Wed 21 May 14

unblinded says...

Both - The person who authorised this alleged "advance payment" was Farooq Dastgir, as the senior officer. Farooq alleges this is common practice at TCBC but is that REALLY true, or simply a comment in his defence?
Also, TCBC have commented to say there will now be an internal investigation so I think a return to work interview is a little premature. I would assume this is to determine whether or not what Farooq did was against council policies and procedures.
Also, bear in mind that Gwent Police are a partner in the SRS. If there was any likelihood of criminal behaviour taking place they had very little choice but to report it as necessary. The council believe he was trying to fiddle the books while Farooq alleges he was simply arranging advance payment... Either way he was in the wrong and should be reprimanded.

I find it surprising how TCBC are copping all the flak off the back of one officers defence who, more than anything else, was desperate to save his skin, even if that means admitting to something that may not be criminal but still wrong... Bear in mind that phrase "beyond all reasonable doubt". That doesn't make him innocent. That could simply mean there wasn't enough evidence to conclusively prove his guilt.

I would imagine his forthcoming investigatory procedure will be far more interesting than this farce of a trial.
Both - The person who authorised this alleged "advance payment" was Farooq Dastgir, as the senior officer. Farooq alleges this is common practice at TCBC but is that REALLY true, or simply a comment in his defence? Also, TCBC have commented to say there will now be an internal investigation so I think a return to work interview is a little premature. I would assume this is to determine whether or not what Farooq did was against council policies and procedures. Also, bear in mind that Gwent Police are a partner in the SRS. If there was any likelihood of criminal behaviour taking place they had very little choice but to report it as necessary. The council believe he was trying to fiddle the books while Farooq alleges he was simply arranging advance payment... Either way he was in the wrong and should be reprimanded. I find it surprising how TCBC are copping all the flak off the back of one officers defence who, more than anything else, was desperate to save his skin, even if that means admitting to something that may not be criminal but still wrong... Bear in mind that phrase "beyond all reasonable doubt". That doesn't make him innocent. That could simply mean there wasn't enough evidence to conclusively prove his guilt. I would imagine his forthcoming investigatory procedure will be far more interesting than this farce of a trial. unblinded
  • Score: 8

3:42pm Wed 21 May 14

altom23 says...

unblinded wrote:
Both - The person who authorised this alleged "advance payment" was Farooq Dastgir, as the senior officer. Farooq alleges this is common practice at TCBC but is that REALLY true, or simply a comment in his defence?
Also, TCBC have commented to say there will now be an internal investigation so I think a return to work interview is a little premature. I would assume this is to determine whether or not what Farooq did was against council policies and procedures.
Also, bear in mind that Gwent Police are a partner in the SRS. If there was any likelihood of criminal behaviour taking place they had very little choice but to report it as necessary. The council believe he was trying to fiddle the books while Farooq alleges he was simply arranging advance payment... Either way he was in the wrong and should be reprimanded.

I find it surprising how TCBC are copping all the flak off the back of one officers defence who, more than anything else, was desperate to save his skin, even if that means admitting to something that may not be criminal but still wrong... Bear in mind that phrase "beyond all reasonable doubt". That doesn't make him innocent. That could simply mean there wasn't enough evidence to conclusively prove his guilt.

I would imagine his forthcoming investigatory procedure will be far more interesting than this farce of a trial.
Exactly...
It seem to me that many people within Torfaen and further afield knew what was going on but could not or were unable to blow the whistle on these happenings within SRS / Torfaen A case of Teflon Man!
[quote][p][bold]unblinded[/bold] wrote: Both - The person who authorised this alleged "advance payment" was Farooq Dastgir, as the senior officer. Farooq alleges this is common practice at TCBC but is that REALLY true, or simply a comment in his defence? Also, TCBC have commented to say there will now be an internal investigation so I think a return to work interview is a little premature. I would assume this is to determine whether or not what Farooq did was against council policies and procedures. Also, bear in mind that Gwent Police are a partner in the SRS. If there was any likelihood of criminal behaviour taking place they had very little choice but to report it as necessary. The council believe he was trying to fiddle the books while Farooq alleges he was simply arranging advance payment... Either way he was in the wrong and should be reprimanded. I find it surprising how TCBC are copping all the flak off the back of one officers defence who, more than anything else, was desperate to save his skin, even if that means admitting to something that may not be criminal but still wrong... Bear in mind that phrase "beyond all reasonable doubt". That doesn't make him innocent. That could simply mean there wasn't enough evidence to conclusively prove his guilt. I would imagine his forthcoming investigatory procedure will be far more interesting than this farce of a trial.[/p][/quote]Exactly... It seem to me that many people within Torfaen and further afield knew what was going on but could not or were unable to blow the whistle on these happenings within SRS / Torfaen A case of Teflon Man! altom23
  • Score: 3

3:55pm Wed 21 May 14

unblinded says...

altom23 wrote:
unblinded wrote:
Both - The person who authorised this alleged "advance payment" was Farooq Dastgir, as the senior officer. Farooq alleges this is common practice at TCBC but is that REALLY true, or simply a comment in his defence?
Also, TCBC have commented to say there will now be an internal investigation so I think a return to work interview is a little premature. I would assume this is to determine whether or not what Farooq did was against council policies and procedures.
Also, bear in mind that Gwent Police are a partner in the SRS. If there was any likelihood of criminal behaviour taking place they had very little choice but to report it as necessary. The council believe he was trying to fiddle the books while Farooq alleges he was simply arranging advance payment... Either way he was in the wrong and should be reprimanded.

I find it surprising how TCBC are copping all the flak off the back of one officers defence who, more than anything else, was desperate to save his skin, even if that means admitting to something that may not be criminal but still wrong... Bear in mind that phrase "beyond all reasonable doubt". That doesn't make him innocent. That could simply mean there wasn't enough evidence to conclusively prove his guilt.

I would imagine his forthcoming investigatory procedure will be far more interesting than this farce of a trial.
Exactly...
It seem to me that many people within Torfaen and further afield knew what was going on but could not or were unable to blow the whistle on these happenings within SRS / Torfaen A case of Teflon Man!
I think if TCBC knew this was happening they would have tried to deal with it quietly, internally, rather than giving Farooq a pedestal from which to shout about it and publicise Torfaen's failings while trying to ruin his reputation...
[quote][p][bold]altom23[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]unblinded[/bold] wrote: Both - The person who authorised this alleged "advance payment" was Farooq Dastgir, as the senior officer. Farooq alleges this is common practice at TCBC but is that REALLY true, or simply a comment in his defence? Also, TCBC have commented to say there will now be an internal investigation so I think a return to work interview is a little premature. I would assume this is to determine whether or not what Farooq did was against council policies and procedures. Also, bear in mind that Gwent Police are a partner in the SRS. If there was any likelihood of criminal behaviour taking place they had very little choice but to report it as necessary. The council believe he was trying to fiddle the books while Farooq alleges he was simply arranging advance payment... Either way he was in the wrong and should be reprimanded. I find it surprising how TCBC are copping all the flak off the back of one officers defence who, more than anything else, was desperate to save his skin, even if that means admitting to something that may not be criminal but still wrong... Bear in mind that phrase "beyond all reasonable doubt". That doesn't make him innocent. That could simply mean there wasn't enough evidence to conclusively prove his guilt. I would imagine his forthcoming investigatory procedure will be far more interesting than this farce of a trial.[/p][/quote]Exactly... It seem to me that many people within Torfaen and further afield knew what was going on but could not or were unable to blow the whistle on these happenings within SRS / Torfaen A case of Teflon Man![/p][/quote]I think if TCBC knew this was happening they would have tried to deal with it quietly, internally, rather than giving Farooq a pedestal from which to shout about it and publicise Torfaen's failings while trying to ruin his reputation... unblinded
  • Score: 3

6:20pm Wed 21 May 14

indy2012 says...

altom23 wrote:
unblinded wrote:
Both - The person who authorised this alleged "advance payment" was Farooq Dastgir, as the senior officer. Farooq alleges this is common practice at TCBC but is that REALLY true, or simply a comment in his defence?
Also, TCBC have commented to say there will now be an internal investigation so I think a return to work interview is a little premature. I would assume this is to determine whether or not what Farooq did was against council policies and procedures.
Also, bear in mind that Gwent Police are a partner in the SRS. If there was any likelihood of criminal behaviour taking place they had very little choice but to report it as necessary. The council believe he was trying to fiddle the books while Farooq alleges he was simply arranging advance payment... Either way he was in the wrong and should be reprimanded.

I find it surprising how TCBC are copping all the flak off the back of one officers defence who, more than anything else, was desperate to save his skin, even if that means admitting to something that may not be criminal but still wrong... Bear in mind that phrase "beyond all reasonable doubt". That doesn't make him innocent. That could simply mean there wasn't enough evidence to conclusively prove his guilt.

I would imagine his forthcoming investigatory procedure will be far more interesting than this farce of a trial.
Exactly...
It seem to me that many people within Torfaen and further afield knew what was going on but could not or were unable to blow the whistle on these happenings within SRS / Torfaen A case of Teflon Man!
I believe that persons within TCBC and councillors alike know what goes on with payments made to company's, I bet a few of them were having breakdowns when this case came to court, something not quite right about this case, Mr Dastgir made a scapegoat maybe!
[quote][p][bold]altom23[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]unblinded[/bold] wrote: Both - The person who authorised this alleged "advance payment" was Farooq Dastgir, as the senior officer. Farooq alleges this is common practice at TCBC but is that REALLY true, or simply a comment in his defence? Also, TCBC have commented to say there will now be an internal investigation so I think a return to work interview is a little premature. I would assume this is to determine whether or not what Farooq did was against council policies and procedures. Also, bear in mind that Gwent Police are a partner in the SRS. If there was any likelihood of criminal behaviour taking place they had very little choice but to report it as necessary. The council believe he was trying to fiddle the books while Farooq alleges he was simply arranging advance payment... Either way he was in the wrong and should be reprimanded. I find it surprising how TCBC are copping all the flak off the back of one officers defence who, more than anything else, was desperate to save his skin, even if that means admitting to something that may not be criminal but still wrong... Bear in mind that phrase "beyond all reasonable doubt". That doesn't make him innocent. That could simply mean there wasn't enough evidence to conclusively prove his guilt. I would imagine his forthcoming investigatory procedure will be far more interesting than this farce of a trial.[/p][/quote]Exactly... It seem to me that many people within Torfaen and further afield knew what was going on but could not or were unable to blow the whistle on these happenings within SRS / Torfaen A case of Teflon Man![/p][/quote]I believe that persons within TCBC and councillors alike know what goes on with payments made to company's, I bet a few of them were having breakdowns when this case came to court, something not quite right about this case, Mr Dastgir made a scapegoat maybe! indy2012
  • Score: 3

11:28pm Wed 21 May 14

CrownCourtJester says...

The whole matter stinks.

I've followed this in the paper.
There's 3 organisations, Torfaen, Monmouth and Gwent Police.
Alison Ward, Chief Executive of Torfaen, said she would have done an internal investigation before going to the police but the Chief Constable (Ms Napier who herself left under something of a cloud) insisted on a police investigation. So Gwent Police, believing themselves to have been implicated in some sort of crime then decided to investigate it themselves !
No surprise he was prosecuted then.
After 2 1/2 years they ended up with 3 charges, 2 of which weren't even worthy to put before a jury and the other took less than 3 hours to throw out - after a 3 week trial !
Now THAT'S a waste of public money.

The council obviously want Mr Dastgir out. HOW MUCH WILL THAT COST because one thing's for certain, he doesn't have the support of his bosses.

Finally, he did have the support of Bob Wellington.
I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall when Bob met the Chief Executive after this.

What a shambles.

A guy is left to his own devices, cuts corners and it goes wrong and he's the only one accountable? Problem is, he was held to account and found not guilty.
The police failed to hang him, now it's the council's turn to try, that's what it looks like to me.
The whole matter stinks. I've followed this in the paper. There's 3 organisations, Torfaen, Monmouth and Gwent Police. Alison Ward, Chief Executive of Torfaen, said she would have done an internal investigation before going to the police but the Chief Constable (Ms Napier who herself left under something of a cloud) insisted on a police investigation. So Gwent Police, believing themselves to have been implicated in some sort of crime then decided to investigate it themselves ! No surprise he was prosecuted then. After 2 1/2 years they ended up with 3 charges, 2 of which weren't even worthy to put before a jury and the other took less than 3 hours to throw out - after a 3 week trial ! Now THAT'S a waste of public money. The council obviously want Mr Dastgir out. HOW MUCH WILL THAT COST because one thing's for certain, he doesn't have the support of his bosses. Finally, he did have the support of Bob Wellington. I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall when Bob met the Chief Executive after this. What a shambles. A guy is left to his own devices, cuts corners and it goes wrong and he's the only one accountable? Problem is, he was held to account and found not guilty. The police failed to hang him, now it's the council's turn to try, that's what it looks like to me. CrownCourtJester
  • Score: 5

9:02am Thu 22 May 14

altom23 says...

"Finally, he did have the support of Bob Wellington.
I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall when Bob met the Chief Executive after this.

What a shambles.

A guy is left to his own devices, cuts corners and it goes wrong and he's the only one accountable? Problem is, he was held to account and found not guilty.
The police failed to hang him, now it's the council's turn to try, that's what it looks like to me."

DF was without doubt a man that cut every corner going when dealing with the Heads of the Valleys huge pot of money allocated to Torfaen schools. Contracts were given out without any tendering process being undertaken and that is why he had a clutch of companies that were very much in his "debt". There was no control from above and this was presumably due to DF personality and his way of getting his own way. As I said before he became Teflon Man and no one would stand up to him.

What must be said in all this is that he was not using any funds for his own benefit and was totally convinced that he was leading Torfaen Monmouth and Gwent Police in the IT revolution
"Finally, he did have the support of Bob Wellington. I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall when Bob met the Chief Executive after this. What a shambles. A guy is left to his own devices, cuts corners and it goes wrong and he's the only one accountable? Problem is, he was held to account and found not guilty. The police failed to hang him, now it's the council's turn to try, that's what it looks like to me." DF was without doubt a man that cut every corner going when dealing with the Heads of the Valleys huge pot of money allocated to Torfaen schools. Contracts were given out without any tendering process being undertaken and that is why he had a clutch of companies that were very much in his "debt". There was no control from above and this was presumably due to DF personality and his way of getting his own way. As I said before he became Teflon Man and no one would stand up to him. What must be said in all this is that he was not using any funds for his own benefit and was totally convinced that he was leading Torfaen Monmouth and Gwent Police in the IT revolution altom23
  • Score: 2

9:53am Thu 22 May 14

unblinded says...

CrownCourtJester wrote:
The whole matter stinks.

I've followed this in the paper.
There's 3 organisations, Torfaen, Monmouth and Gwent Police.
Alison Ward, Chief Executive of Torfaen, said she would have done an internal investigation before going to the police but the Chief Constable (Ms Napier who herself left under something of a cloud) insisted on a police investigation. So Gwent Police, believing themselves to have been implicated in some sort of crime then decided to investigate it themselves !
No surprise he was prosecuted then.
After 2 1/2 years they ended up with 3 charges, 2 of which weren't even worthy to put before a jury and the other took less than 3 hours to throw out - after a 3 week trial !
Now THAT'S a waste of public money.

The council obviously want Mr Dastgir out. HOW MUCH WILL THAT COST because one thing's for certain, he doesn't have the support of his bosses.

Finally, he did have the support of Bob Wellington.
I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall when Bob met the Chief Executive after this.

What a shambles.

A guy is left to his own devices, cuts corners and it goes wrong and he's the only one accountable? Problem is, he was held to account and found not guilty.
The police failed to hang him, now it's the council's turn to try, that's what it looks like to me.
I can't blame Gwent Police for this. They're very much a part of SRS and, effectively, FD is head of their IT too. They couldn't afford to take any chances when potential fraud is uncovered within their own ranks.

It wasn't that the charges themselves weren't worthy of a crown prosecution. The CPS obviously believed so. It was a lack of evidence, at least in the judges eyes...

I would imagine there are other elements to the internal investigation, aside from the potentially criminal activities. Lack of support from his bosses, or a breakdown of trust and working relationships?

Bob Wellington - the leader of Torfaen council, and yet despite all the evidence put to him he still took the stand against his council and his employers. It certainly makes you wonder doesn't it... What has FD done for Bob, past or present, to earn such a glowing character reference? It sounds as if our illustrious leader is one such person indebted to Farooq doesn't it. I wonder if it were any other employee would Mr Wellington be so vocal...

Is that man really worthy of the title of "Leader" of TCBC? At the very least he should have remained neutral and served his council properly! This just shows he certainly doesn't have his councils best interests at heart. It's about time we had a change of council leadership on that score. I don't mean Alison Ward, in my opinion she's done wonders for Torfaen.
[quote][p][bold]CrownCourtJester[/bold] wrote: The whole matter stinks. I've followed this in the paper. There's 3 organisations, Torfaen, Monmouth and Gwent Police. Alison Ward, Chief Executive of Torfaen, said she would have done an internal investigation before going to the police but the Chief Constable (Ms Napier who herself left under something of a cloud) insisted on a police investigation. So Gwent Police, believing themselves to have been implicated in some sort of crime then decided to investigate it themselves ! No surprise he was prosecuted then. After 2 1/2 years they ended up with 3 charges, 2 of which weren't even worthy to put before a jury and the other took less than 3 hours to throw out - after a 3 week trial ! Now THAT'S a waste of public money. The council obviously want Mr Dastgir out. HOW MUCH WILL THAT COST because one thing's for certain, he doesn't have the support of his bosses. Finally, he did have the support of Bob Wellington. I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall when Bob met the Chief Executive after this. What a shambles. A guy is left to his own devices, cuts corners and it goes wrong and he's the only one accountable? Problem is, he was held to account and found not guilty. The police failed to hang him, now it's the council's turn to try, that's what it looks like to me.[/p][/quote]I can't blame Gwent Police for this. They're very much a part of SRS and, effectively, FD is head of their IT too. They couldn't afford to take any chances when potential fraud is uncovered within their own ranks. It wasn't that the charges themselves weren't worthy of a crown prosecution. The CPS obviously believed so. It was a lack of evidence, at least in the judges eyes... I would imagine there are other elements to the internal investigation, aside from the potentially criminal activities. Lack of support from his bosses, or a breakdown of trust and working relationships? Bob Wellington - the leader of Torfaen council, and yet despite all the evidence put to him he still took the stand against his council and his employers. It certainly makes you wonder doesn't it... What has FD done for Bob, past or present, to earn such a glowing character reference? It sounds as if our illustrious leader is one such person indebted to Farooq doesn't it. I wonder if it were any other employee would Mr Wellington be so vocal... Is that man really worthy of the title of "Leader" of TCBC? At the very least he should have remained neutral and served his council properly! This just shows he certainly doesn't have his councils best interests at heart. It's about time we had a change of council leadership on that score. I don't mean Alison Ward, in my opinion she's done wonders for Torfaen. unblinded
  • Score: 3

10:15am Thu 22 May 14

CrownCourtJester says...

I too find it astonishing that Bob Wellington choose become part of this instead of being diplomatic. In my view this intervention has completely undermined the internal case against Mr Dastgir. I assume that if he's sacked then he can appeal to Councillors, as other councils allow?

However, Mr Wellington and Ms Ward do have an awful lot in common.
They are two of the principle people who allowed Mr Dastgir to 'run amok' because he was bringing glory their way. How many times has Torfaen Talk gone on about the digital revolution and how Torfaen ('their' Torfaen) was leading the way?
BW and I believe officers (not Alison Ward) had a nice little jolly to Seattle.
Peter Durkin, former Deputy Chief Executive was always boasting about this venture (note he's gone on 'ealry retirement').

Bob Wellington and his councillors failed to scrutinise at all, not just properly and Alison Ward - who is the Chair of this SRS thing - failed to ensure that others exercised diligence and control.

She's the Chair of SRS yet allowed the police to launch into a criminal investigation that must have cost the taxpayer possibly a 7-figure sum (I'm told it's about 25k a day in Crown Court alone) and which failed to do her job for her, which was to be rid of someone who has perhaps broken a lot of rules, and to be able to do so easily by saying that he'd been convicted of a criminal act perpetrated in the course of his work.
Now she has to address the consequences.

Oh, and as someone mentioned that a number of companies etc. were possibly in Mr Dastgir's 'debt' it came out at the trial that Ms Ward hs been involved in instances of 'philanthropic donations' from suppliers of the 'Torfaen Laptops'. She attempted to cover up a donation of £400,000 'because it wouldn't look right in the light of bad press' , SOLACE, a professional organisation she belongs to had donations from it, Princes Trust, of which she's an active member was another, and indeed even she herself received hospitality from the owner of the company following the award of her CBE.

In my opinion it's not an internal inquiry that's needed it's an independent external one. How about the Welsh Audit Office?
I too find it astonishing that Bob Wellington choose become part of this instead of being diplomatic. In my view this intervention has completely undermined the internal case against Mr Dastgir. I assume that if he's sacked then he can appeal to Councillors, as other councils allow? However, Mr Wellington and Ms Ward do have an awful lot in common. They are two of the principle people who allowed Mr Dastgir to 'run amok' because he was bringing glory their way. How many times has Torfaen Talk gone on about the digital revolution and how Torfaen ('their' Torfaen) was leading the way? BW and I believe officers (not Alison Ward) had a nice little jolly to Seattle. Peter Durkin, former Deputy Chief Executive was always boasting about this venture (note he's gone on 'ealry retirement'). Bob Wellington and his councillors failed to scrutinise at all, not just properly and Alison Ward - who is the Chair of this SRS thing - failed to ensure that others exercised diligence and control. She's the Chair of SRS yet allowed the police to launch into a criminal investigation that must have cost the taxpayer possibly a 7-figure sum (I'm told it's about 25k a day in Crown Court alone) and which failed to do her job for her, which was to be rid of someone who has perhaps broken a lot of rules, and to be able to do so easily by saying that he'd been convicted of a criminal act perpetrated in the course of his work. Now she has to address the consequences. Oh, and as someone mentioned that a number of companies etc. were possibly in Mr Dastgir's 'debt' it came out at the trial that Ms Ward hs been involved in instances of 'philanthropic donations' from suppliers of the 'Torfaen Laptops'. She attempted to cover up a donation of £400,000 'because it wouldn't look right in the light of bad press' , SOLACE, a professional organisation she belongs to had donations from it, Princes Trust, of which she's an active member was another, and indeed even she herself received hospitality from the owner of the company following the award of her CBE. In my opinion it's not an internal inquiry that's needed it's an independent external one. How about the Welsh Audit Office? CrownCourtJester
  • Score: 3

10:40am Thu 22 May 14

altom23 says...

CrownCourtJester wrote:
I too find it astonishing that Bob Wellington choose become part of this instead of being diplomatic. In my view this intervention has completely undermined the internal case against Mr Dastgir. I assume that if he's sacked then he can appeal to Councillors, as other councils allow?

However, Mr Wellington and Ms Ward do have an awful lot in common.
They are two of the principle people who allowed Mr Dastgir to 'run amok' because he was bringing glory their way. How many times has Torfaen Talk gone on about the digital revolution and how Torfaen ('their' Torfaen) was leading the way?
BW and I believe officers (not Alison Ward) had a nice little jolly to Seattle.
Peter Durkin, former Deputy Chief Executive was always boasting about this venture (note he's gone on 'ealry retirement').

Bob Wellington and his councillors failed to scrutinise at all, not just properly and Alison Ward - who is the Chair of this SRS thing - failed to ensure that others exercised diligence and control.

She's the Chair of SRS yet allowed the police to launch into a criminal investigation that must have cost the taxpayer possibly a 7-figure sum (I'm told it's about 25k a day in Crown Court alone) and which failed to do her job for her, which was to be rid of someone who has perhaps broken a lot of rules, and to be able to do so easily by saying that he'd been convicted of a criminal act perpetrated in the course of his work.
Now she has to address the consequences.

Oh, and as someone mentioned that a number of companies etc. were possibly in Mr Dastgir's 'debt' it came out at the trial that Ms Ward hs been involved in instances of 'philanthropic donations' from suppliers of the 'Torfaen Laptops'. She attempted to cover up a donation of £400,000 'because it wouldn't look right in the light of bad press' , SOLACE, a professional organisation she belongs to had donations from it, Princes Trust, of which she's an active member was another, and indeed even she herself received hospitality from the owner of the company following the award of her CBE.

In my opinion it's not an internal inquiry that's needed it's an independent external one. How about the Welsh Audit Office?
This person knows his / her stuff!! What an excellent piece of fact. As I have said many times DF became one of the "Untouchables" People thought he was King.
[quote][p][bold]CrownCourtJester[/bold] wrote: I too find it astonishing that Bob Wellington choose become part of this instead of being diplomatic. In my view this intervention has completely undermined the internal case against Mr Dastgir. I assume that if he's sacked then he can appeal to Councillors, as other councils allow? However, Mr Wellington and Ms Ward do have an awful lot in common. They are two of the principle people who allowed Mr Dastgir to 'run amok' because he was bringing glory their way. How many times has Torfaen Talk gone on about the digital revolution and how Torfaen ('their' Torfaen) was leading the way? BW and I believe officers (not Alison Ward) had a nice little jolly to Seattle. Peter Durkin, former Deputy Chief Executive was always boasting about this venture (note he's gone on 'ealry retirement'). Bob Wellington and his councillors failed to scrutinise at all, not just properly and Alison Ward - who is the Chair of this SRS thing - failed to ensure that others exercised diligence and control. She's the Chair of SRS yet allowed the police to launch into a criminal investigation that must have cost the taxpayer possibly a 7-figure sum (I'm told it's about 25k a day in Crown Court alone) and which failed to do her job for her, which was to be rid of someone who has perhaps broken a lot of rules, and to be able to do so easily by saying that he'd been convicted of a criminal act perpetrated in the course of his work. Now she has to address the consequences. Oh, and as someone mentioned that a number of companies etc. were possibly in Mr Dastgir's 'debt' it came out at the trial that Ms Ward hs been involved in instances of 'philanthropic donations' from suppliers of the 'Torfaen Laptops'. She attempted to cover up a donation of £400,000 'because it wouldn't look right in the light of bad press' , SOLACE, a professional organisation she belongs to had donations from it, Princes Trust, of which she's an active member was another, and indeed even she herself received hospitality from the owner of the company following the award of her CBE. In my opinion it's not an internal inquiry that's needed it's an independent external one. How about the Welsh Audit Office?[/p][/quote]This person knows his / her stuff!! What an excellent piece of fact. As I have said many times DF became one of the "Untouchables" People thought he was King. altom23
  • Score: 3

11:18am Thu 22 May 14

CrownCourtJester says...

Thank you altom23 !

I remember a very famous children's tale.
Unfortunately it's not the king that's in the altogether, it's our council Torfaen.

Farooq Dastgir, unlike the tailors, hasn't committed any criminal act at all, nor been deceptive about what he's delivered.
However, 'the king' and all the courtiers all appear to have simply 'taken on board' all that was said instead of exercising the diligence and wherewithall that taxpayers should expect from elected representatives and very highly paid 'professionals'.

Peter Durkin, the main standard bearer for this fiasco, is sitting comfortably having taken his 'well earned' early retirement and pension and is beyond reach.
It therefore falls to others (who failed to hold him to proper account ie. ensure he was doing his job of monitoring and enforcing standards and rules) to take the blame.
Unless of course, being 'untouchable' he becomes the proverbial scapegoat. Perhaps that's why he left early?
Thank you altom23 ! I remember a very famous children's tale. Unfortunately it's not the king that's in the altogether, it's our council Torfaen. Farooq Dastgir, unlike the tailors, hasn't committed any criminal act at all, nor been deceptive about what he's delivered. However, 'the king' and all the courtiers all appear to have simply 'taken on board' all that was said instead of exercising the diligence and wherewithall that taxpayers should expect from elected representatives and very highly paid 'professionals'. Peter Durkin, the main standard bearer for this fiasco, is sitting comfortably having taken his 'well earned' early retirement and pension and is beyond reach. It therefore falls to others (who failed to hold him to proper account ie. ensure he was doing his job of monitoring and enforcing standards and rules) to take the blame. Unless of course, being 'untouchable' he becomes the proverbial scapegoat. Perhaps that's why he left early? CrownCourtJester
  • Score: 2

11:47am Thu 22 May 14

unblinded says...

Should we really expect a senior officer earning £75k+ per year to need monitoring and have his every action verified though? Should a man of such high position with overall responsibility of such a large budget need constant monitoring? If so, is he really the right man for that job? If I were his seniors I would certainly expect more of him and would like to think he could at least operate within the rules, policies, and procedures.

They found out what he'd been up to and acted on it - what more can you ask?

Alison "allowed the police to launch a criminal investigation"? I don't think you can tell the police not to investigate criminal activity, especially where it involves an organisation they are partners in! Again, I applaud them for taking this step. If it were a big coverup or if TCBC were equally at fault I should imagine they'd have done all they could to deal with it quietly internally, rather than open themselves up to public scrutiny and give FD a chance to publicly humiliate them!
Should we really expect a senior officer earning £75k+ per year to need monitoring and have his every action verified though? Should a man of such high position with overall responsibility of such a large budget need constant monitoring? If so, is he really the right man for that job? If I were his seniors I would certainly expect more of him and would like to think he could at least operate within the rules, policies, and procedures. They found out what he'd been up to and acted on it - what more can you ask? Alison "allowed the police to launch a criminal investigation"? I don't think you can tell the police not to investigate criminal activity, especially where it involves an organisation they are partners in! Again, I applaud them for taking this step. If it were a big coverup or if TCBC were equally at fault I should imagine they'd have done all they could to deal with it quietly internally, rather than open themselves up to public scrutiny and give FD a chance to publicly humiliate them! unblinded
  • Score: 0

11:49am Thu 22 May 14

Abertillery29 says...

The police gathered the evidence but then it was handed to the CPS. It was them and them alone who decided, with the evidence provided to them, if it should be put before a court.
The police gathered the evidence but then it was handed to the CPS. It was them and them alone who decided, with the evidence provided to them, if it should be put before a court. Abertillery29
  • Score: 2

12:06pm Thu 22 May 14

altom23 says...

CrownCourtJester wrote:
Thank you altom23 !

I remember a very famous children's tale.
Unfortunately it's not the king that's in the altogether, it's our council Torfaen.

Farooq Dastgir, unlike the tailors, hasn't committed any criminal act at all, nor been deceptive about what he's delivered.
However, 'the king' and all the courtiers all appear to have simply 'taken on board' all that was said instead of exercising the diligence and wherewithall that taxpayers should expect from elected representatives and very highly paid 'professionals'.

Peter Durkin, the main standard bearer for this fiasco, is sitting comfortably having taken his 'well earned' early retirement and pension and is beyond reach.
It therefore falls to others (who failed to hold him to proper account ie. ensure he was doing his job of monitoring and enforcing standards and rules) to take the blame.
Unless of course, being 'untouchable' he becomes the proverbial scapegoat. Perhaps that's why he left early?
You also forgot another very senior Officer that was in post before Peter Durkin and was one of the gang that went over on the Seattle trip. He at that time was the Chief education Officer at Torfaen (MP) He was given a Golden Handshake within months of returning from Seattle and all this coming out. And wait for it ,,,,,,(,MP).... he popped up again last week with Bob Wellington as one of the main Defence witness. Yes it all stinks to high heaven!!
[quote][p][bold]CrownCourtJester[/bold] wrote: Thank you altom23 ! I remember a very famous children's tale. Unfortunately it's not the king that's in the altogether, it's our council Torfaen. Farooq Dastgir, unlike the tailors, hasn't committed any criminal act at all, nor been deceptive about what he's delivered. However, 'the king' and all the courtiers all appear to have simply 'taken on board' all that was said instead of exercising the diligence and wherewithall that taxpayers should expect from elected representatives and very highly paid 'professionals'. Peter Durkin, the main standard bearer for this fiasco, is sitting comfortably having taken his 'well earned' early retirement and pension and is beyond reach. It therefore falls to others (who failed to hold him to proper account ie. ensure he was doing his job of monitoring and enforcing standards and rules) to take the blame. Unless of course, being 'untouchable' he becomes the proverbial scapegoat. Perhaps that's why he left early?[/p][/quote]You also forgot another very senior Officer that was in post before Peter Durkin and was one of the gang that went over on the Seattle trip. He at that time was the Chief education Officer at Torfaen (MP) He was given a Golden Handshake within months of returning from Seattle and all this coming out. And wait for it ,,,,,,(,MP).... he popped up again last week with Bob Wellington as one of the main Defence witness. Yes it all stinks to high heaven!! altom23
  • Score: 6

11:59pm Thu 22 May 14

CrownCourtJester says...

unblinded wrote:
Should we really expect a senior officer earning £75k+ per year to need monitoring and have his every action verified though? Should a man of such high position with overall responsibility of such a large budget need constant monitoring? If so, is he really the right man for that job? If I were his seniors I would certainly expect more of him and would like to think he could at least operate within the rules, policies, and procedures.

They found out what he'd been up to and acted on it - what more can you ask?

Alison "allowed the police to launch a criminal investigation"? I don't think you can tell the police not to investigate criminal activity, especially where it involves an organisation they are partners in! Again, I applaud them for taking this step. If it were a big coverup or if TCBC were equally at fault I should imagine they'd have done all they could to deal with it quietly internally, rather than open themselves up to public scrutiny and give FD a chance to publicly humiliate them!
I think I might not have put the point over well enough.

Before a prosecution the police investigate, gather evidence and pass it to the CPS for a decision.

Alison Ward wanted to investigate if there was evidence of possible criminal activity before passing it to the police.

The Jury has said there wasn't any criminal activity on one count.
On the other 2 the judge directed the jury that there was no case to answer ie. never was any reasonable grounds for bringing those charges (albeit in hindsight).

We are left with the disticnt possibility that a Torfaen internal investigation would have concluded that there wasn't any criminal activity and hence over £500,000 of public money wouldn't have been wasted on a trial, a trial which in my view has shown to the world how poor Torfaen's system of financial control (of £150 million of public money) is, and from what I've been told how some of its officers provide highly questionable evidence that falls apart under close examination.

And the council - or rather its most senior officers - have got it into another mess.
How can anyone sit in judgement on, and more importantly hold to account, Mr Dastgir? Is there anyone who it can be said is neutral and has the authority to discipline him?
Is he going to get a fair hearing from Alison Ward?
Perhaps the Chief Constable, not being part of Torfaen nor the criminal proceedings will do it?

This is a complete shambles.
The guy must have done something wrong, an attempt to get the courts to do the dirty work has failed and in trying that the council has brought about a situation where he can say he can never have a fair hearing
Result ? - how about even more public money spent, this time on compensating him for loss of office?
Even banged to rights (internally) his leagle eagle will point to the behaviour of his employer when it comes to the inevitable Employment Tribunal.

Torfaen council, via its capitulation to Gwent Police, went 'all in' - and lost. Torfaen council taxpayers and citizens like us are also losers. Do you think the Welsh Government will plough money into the area now?

I say again, Alison Ward, Bob Wellington and their circle were all quite happy to let Mr Dastgir loose to build his vision, with the prospect of glory for them. They stood there admiring his work, advertised how great Torfaen was and neglected the responsibility encumbant upon them to ensure the correct and proper use of resources and when it all went wrong tried to use their sacred cow as a human sacrifice.

PS I note that you use the term of familiarity 'FD', which I assume is what he might be known as to colleagues etc.
You don't work for the council by any chance do you unblinded?
[quote][p][bold]unblinded[/bold] wrote: Should we really expect a senior officer earning £75k+ per year to need monitoring and have his every action verified though? Should a man of such high position with overall responsibility of such a large budget need constant monitoring? If so, is he really the right man for that job? If I were his seniors I would certainly expect more of him and would like to think he could at least operate within the rules, policies, and procedures. They found out what he'd been up to and acted on it - what more can you ask? Alison "allowed the police to launch a criminal investigation"? I don't think you can tell the police not to investigate criminal activity, especially where it involves an organisation they are partners in! Again, I applaud them for taking this step. If it were a big coverup or if TCBC were equally at fault I should imagine they'd have done all they could to deal with it quietly internally, rather than open themselves up to public scrutiny and give FD a chance to publicly humiliate them![/p][/quote]I think I might not have put the point over well enough. Before a prosecution the police investigate, gather evidence and pass it to the CPS for a decision. Alison Ward wanted to investigate if there was evidence of possible criminal activity before passing it to the police. The Jury has said there wasn't any criminal activity on one count. On the other 2 the judge directed the jury that there was no case to answer ie. never was any reasonable grounds for bringing those charges (albeit in hindsight). We are left with the disticnt possibility that a Torfaen internal investigation would have concluded that there wasn't any criminal activity and hence over £500,000 of public money wouldn't have been wasted on a trial, a trial which in my view has shown to the world how poor Torfaen's system of financial control (of £150 million of public money) is, and from what I've been told how some of its officers provide highly questionable evidence that falls apart under close examination. And the council - or rather its most senior officers - have got it into another mess. How can anyone sit in judgement on, and more importantly hold to account, Mr Dastgir? Is there anyone who it can be said is neutral and has the authority to discipline him? Is he going to get a fair hearing from Alison Ward? Perhaps the Chief Constable, not being part of Torfaen nor the criminal proceedings will do it? This is a complete shambles. The guy must have done something wrong, an attempt to get the courts to do the dirty work has failed and in trying that the council has brought about a situation where he can say he can never have a fair hearing Result ? - how about even more public money spent, this time on compensating him for loss of office? Even banged to rights (internally) his leagle eagle will point to the behaviour of his employer when it comes to the inevitable Employment Tribunal. Torfaen council, via its capitulation to Gwent Police, went 'all in' - and lost. Torfaen council taxpayers and citizens like us are also losers. Do you think the Welsh Government will plough money into the area now? I say again, Alison Ward, Bob Wellington and their circle were all quite happy to let Mr Dastgir loose to build his vision, with the prospect of glory for them. They stood there admiring his work, advertised how great Torfaen was and neglected the responsibility encumbant upon them to ensure the correct and proper use of resources and when it all went wrong tried to use their sacred cow as a human sacrifice. PS I note that you use the term of familiarity 'FD', which I assume is what he might be known as to colleagues etc. You don't work for the council by any chance do you unblinded? CrownCourtJester
  • Score: 1

8:56am Fri 23 May 14

unblinded says...

CrownCourtJester wrote:
unblinded wrote:
Should we really expect a senior officer earning £75k+ per year to need monitoring and have his every action verified though? Should a man of such high position with overall responsibility of such a large budget need constant monitoring? If so, is he really the right man for that job? If I were his seniors I would certainly expect more of him and would like to think he could at least operate within the rules, policies, and procedures.

They found out what he'd been up to and acted on it - what more can you ask?

Alison "allowed the police to launch a criminal investigation"? I don't think you can tell the police not to investigate criminal activity, especially where it involves an organisation they are partners in! Again, I applaud them for taking this step. If it were a big coverup or if TCBC were equally at fault I should imagine they'd have done all they could to deal with it quietly internally, rather than open themselves up to public scrutiny and give FD a chance to publicly humiliate them!
I think I might not have put the point over well enough.

Before a prosecution the police investigate, gather evidence and pass it to the CPS for a decision.

Alison Ward wanted to investigate if there was evidence of possible criminal activity before passing it to the police.

The Jury has said there wasn't any criminal activity on one count.
On the other 2 the judge directed the jury that there was no case to answer ie. never was any reasonable grounds for bringing those charges (albeit in hindsight).

We are left with the disticnt possibility that a Torfaen internal investigation would have concluded that there wasn't any criminal activity and hence over £500,000 of public money wouldn't have been wasted on a trial, a trial which in my view has shown to the world how poor Torfaen's system of financial control (of £150 million of public money) is, and from what I've been told how some of its officers provide highly questionable evidence that falls apart under close examination.

And the council - or rather its most senior officers - have got it into another mess.
How can anyone sit in judgement on, and more importantly hold to account, Mr Dastgir? Is there anyone who it can be said is neutral and has the authority to discipline him?
Is he going to get a fair hearing from Alison Ward?
Perhaps the Chief Constable, not being part of Torfaen nor the criminal proceedings will do it?

This is a complete shambles.
The guy must have done something wrong, an attempt to get the courts to do the dirty work has failed and in trying that the council has brought about a situation where he can say he can never have a fair hearing
Result ? - how about even more public money spent, this time on compensating him for loss of office?
Even banged to rights (internally) his leagle eagle will point to the behaviour of his employer when it comes to the inevitable Employment Tribunal.

Torfaen council, via its capitulation to Gwent Police, went 'all in' - and lost. Torfaen council taxpayers and citizens like us are also losers. Do you think the Welsh Government will plough money into the area now?

I say again, Alison Ward, Bob Wellington and their circle were all quite happy to let Mr Dastgir loose to build his vision, with the prospect of glory for them. They stood there admiring his work, advertised how great Torfaen was and neglected the responsibility encumbant upon them to ensure the correct and proper use of resources and when it all went wrong tried to use their sacred cow as a human sacrifice.

PS I note that you use the term of familiarity 'FD', which I assume is what he might be known as to colleagues etc.
You don't work for the council by any chance do you unblinded?
I still feel TCBC took all reasonable steps and that with Gwent Police as a partner at the SRS and, this being a potentially criminal matter, they had very little choice in whether or not the police became involved.

And I say again, someone of such high standing with such a big responsibility, who has worked his way to where he is now, should be able to be trusted to operate legally and correctly. That's why he was given so much responsibility. He shouldn't have needed every financial decision verified in his position as Director. I'm not disputing the whole mess has left Torfaen in an unfavourable position but a man is responsible for his own doings and laying blame at everyone around him seems unfair to me.

I use the term 'FD' as it's his initials and is quicker\easier to type on a mobile device than typing his name and having autocorrect disputing it each time... That is all. I'm also not the only one to use that term here - only the other person had the initials the wrong way round!
Can I assume you have knowledge as to how he's referred within the council then?
[quote][p][bold]CrownCourtJester[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]unblinded[/bold] wrote: Should we really expect a senior officer earning £75k+ per year to need monitoring and have his every action verified though? Should a man of such high position with overall responsibility of such a large budget need constant monitoring? If so, is he really the right man for that job? If I were his seniors I would certainly expect more of him and would like to think he could at least operate within the rules, policies, and procedures. They found out what he'd been up to and acted on it - what more can you ask? Alison "allowed the police to launch a criminal investigation"? I don't think you can tell the police not to investigate criminal activity, especially where it involves an organisation they are partners in! Again, I applaud them for taking this step. If it were a big coverup or if TCBC were equally at fault I should imagine they'd have done all they could to deal with it quietly internally, rather than open themselves up to public scrutiny and give FD a chance to publicly humiliate them![/p][/quote]I think I might not have put the point over well enough. Before a prosecution the police investigate, gather evidence and pass it to the CPS for a decision. Alison Ward wanted to investigate if there was evidence of possible criminal activity before passing it to the police. The Jury has said there wasn't any criminal activity on one count. On the other 2 the judge directed the jury that there was no case to answer ie. never was any reasonable grounds for bringing those charges (albeit in hindsight). We are left with the disticnt possibility that a Torfaen internal investigation would have concluded that there wasn't any criminal activity and hence over £500,000 of public money wouldn't have been wasted on a trial, a trial which in my view has shown to the world how poor Torfaen's system of financial control (of £150 million of public money) is, and from what I've been told how some of its officers provide highly questionable evidence that falls apart under close examination. And the council - or rather its most senior officers - have got it into another mess. How can anyone sit in judgement on, and more importantly hold to account, Mr Dastgir? Is there anyone who it can be said is neutral and has the authority to discipline him? Is he going to get a fair hearing from Alison Ward? Perhaps the Chief Constable, not being part of Torfaen nor the criminal proceedings will do it? This is a complete shambles. The guy must have done something wrong, an attempt to get the courts to do the dirty work has failed and in trying that the council has brought about a situation where he can say he can never have a fair hearing Result ? - how about even more public money spent, this time on compensating him for loss of office? Even banged to rights (internally) his leagle eagle will point to the behaviour of his employer when it comes to the inevitable Employment Tribunal. Torfaen council, via its capitulation to Gwent Police, went 'all in' - and lost. Torfaen council taxpayers and citizens like us are also losers. Do you think the Welsh Government will plough money into the area now? I say again, Alison Ward, Bob Wellington and their circle were all quite happy to let Mr Dastgir loose to build his vision, with the prospect of glory for them. They stood there admiring his work, advertised how great Torfaen was and neglected the responsibility encumbant upon them to ensure the correct and proper use of resources and when it all went wrong tried to use their sacred cow as a human sacrifice. PS I note that you use the term of familiarity 'FD', which I assume is what he might be known as to colleagues etc. You don't work for the council by any chance do you unblinded?[/p][/quote]I still feel TCBC took all reasonable steps and that with Gwent Police as a partner at the SRS and, this being a potentially criminal matter, they had very little choice in whether or not the police became involved. And I say again, someone of such high standing with such a big responsibility, who has worked his way to where he is now, should be able to be trusted to operate legally and correctly. That's why he was given so much responsibility. He shouldn't have needed every financial decision verified in his position as Director. I'm not disputing the whole mess has left Torfaen in an unfavourable position but a man is responsible for his own doings and laying blame at everyone around him seems unfair to me. I use the term 'FD' as it's his initials and is quicker\easier to type on a mobile device than typing his name and having autocorrect disputing it each time... That is all. I'm also not the only one to use that term here - only the other person had the initials the wrong way round! Can I assume you have knowledge as to how he's referred within the council then? unblinded
  • Score: 0

9:17am Fri 23 May 14

altom23 says...

Some excellent comments above made by unblinded and CrownCourt Jester. You certainly place your finger on so many things that went wrong on this whole sorry episode. I was the one that used the initials DF ....I had my reasons but yes it should be FD!!
I suppose that we will now have to await this internal review. I wonder how long this will take? And so Farooq will still be on his £75K of our money during this period again! Well it is gardening time of year at the moment is't it!
Some excellent comments above made by unblinded and CrownCourt Jester. You certainly place your finger on so many things that went wrong on this whole sorry episode. I was the one that used the initials DF ....I had my reasons but yes it should be FD!! I suppose that we will now have to await this internal review. I wonder how long this will take? And so Farooq will still be on his £75K of our money during this period again! Well it is gardening time of year at the moment is't it! altom23
  • Score: 2

10:37am Fri 23 May 14

CrownCourtJester says...

I think we are all of the same general opinion, that this is a mess and a lot of people have played a part in it. I suppose it's just the degree of culpability we individually attach to each of them that's different.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm on Mr Dastgir's side - I'm not, and I agree with unblinded that he had such a responsible position that he would have been aware that he was riding roughshod over rules and regulations. My primary point though is that he is not the ONLY one to blame. Alison Ward (and her early-retired Deputy, Peter Durkin) had a duty to ensure that those below them were acting properly.
Bob Wellington had a duty to ensure proper scrutiny of the venture.
Mr Jenes and Mrs Barnard had a duty to report concerns, yet seemingly stayed silent for some time.
Board members Durkin from Torfaen and Stevenson (was it?) from Gwent Police should have been alert.
And of course Dastgir, if he did realise that the way things were set up wasn't conducive to the effective creation and development of this groundbreaking venture should have expressed his concerns, so that the powers that be could have found ways around it.

This has affected the whole of the Welsh Government's collaboration idea. After this would it pour money into such a collaboration between public bodies again?

Anyway, back to Torfaen, Gwent Police and possibly the CPS. I suspect that June is going to be the month of the long knives in those 3. No doubt they'll blame each other, just as Torfaen's great and good will blame 'FD' and turn on each other if he is again absolved of blame.

As an aside, bosses are often referred to by their initials and I thought that with unblinded using it there may have been some sort of works relationship. Since you've used it and referred to work I guess that he was/is known that way. As you can see I understand the point and have used it myself.

So, where do things go from here?
I note there's been no comments from any of the major players in the paper. Has Torfaen (or Gwent Police for that matter) been asked to comment?
I think we are all of the same general opinion, that this is a mess and a lot of people have played a part in it. I suppose it's just the degree of culpability we individually attach to each of them that's different. I don't want to give the impression that I'm on Mr Dastgir's side - I'm not, and I agree with unblinded that he had such a responsible position that he would have been aware that he was riding roughshod over rules and regulations. My primary point though is that he is not the ONLY one to blame. Alison Ward (and her early-retired Deputy, Peter Durkin) had a duty to ensure that those below them were acting properly. Bob Wellington had a duty to ensure proper scrutiny of the venture. Mr Jenes and Mrs Barnard had a duty to report concerns, yet seemingly stayed silent for some time. Board members Durkin from Torfaen and Stevenson (was it?) from Gwent Police should have been alert. And of course Dastgir, if he did realise that the way things were set up wasn't conducive to the effective creation and development of this groundbreaking venture should have expressed his concerns, so that the powers that be could have found ways around it. This has affected the whole of the Welsh Government's collaboration idea. After this would it pour money into such a collaboration between public bodies again? Anyway, back to Torfaen, Gwent Police and possibly the CPS. I suspect that June is going to be the month of the long knives in those 3. No doubt they'll blame each other, just as Torfaen's great and good will blame 'FD' and turn on each other if he is again absolved of blame. As an aside, bosses are often referred to by their initials and I thought that with unblinded using it there may have been some sort of works relationship. Since you've used it and referred to work I guess that he was/is known that way. As you can see I understand the point and have used it myself. So, where do things go from here? I note there's been no comments from any of the major players in the paper. Has Torfaen (or Gwent Police for that matter) been asked to comment? CrownCourtJester
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Fri 23 May 14

indy2012 says...

CrownCourtJester wrote:
I think we are all of the same general opinion, that this is a mess and a lot of people have played a part in it. I suppose it's just the degree of culpability we individually attach to each of them that's different.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm on Mr Dastgir's side - I'm not, and I agree with unblinded that he had such a responsible position that he would have been aware that he was riding roughshod over rules and regulations. My primary point though is that he is not the ONLY one to blame. Alison Ward (and her early-retired Deputy, Peter Durkin) had a duty to ensure that those below them were acting properly.
Bob Wellington had a duty to ensure proper scrutiny of the venture.
Mr Jenes and Mrs Barnard had a duty to report concerns, yet seemingly stayed silent for some time.
Board members Durkin from Torfaen and Stevenson (was it?) from Gwent Police should have been alert.
And of course Dastgir, if he did realise that the way things were set up wasn't conducive to the effective creation and development of this groundbreaking venture should have expressed his concerns, so that the powers that be could have found ways around it.

This has affected the whole of the Welsh Government's collaboration idea. After this would it pour money into such a collaboration between public bodies again?

Anyway, back to Torfaen, Gwent Police and possibly the CPS. I suspect that June is going to be the month of the long knives in those 3. No doubt they'll blame each other, just as Torfaen's great and good will blame 'FD' and turn on each other if he is again absolved of blame.

As an aside, bosses are often referred to by their initials and I thought that with unblinded using it there may have been some sort of works relationship. Since you've used it and referred to work I guess that he was/is known that way. As you can see I understand the point and have used it myself.

So, where do things go from here?
I note there's been no comments from any of the major players in the paper. Has Torfaen (or Gwent Police for that matter) been asked to comment?
I'm afraid they will do what they always do, bury heads in the sand and wait for it to go away, as for a Bob Wellington comment you will not get one, this scheme has gone wrong, he will be to busy passing the buck, blaming everyone else and trying to save his own neck, Ward,Wellington,Durk
in and Stevenson should have been on trial as well as Dastgir.
[quote][p][bold]CrownCourtJester[/bold] wrote: I think we are all of the same general opinion, that this is a mess and a lot of people have played a part in it. I suppose it's just the degree of culpability we individually attach to each of them that's different. I don't want to give the impression that I'm on Mr Dastgir's side - I'm not, and I agree with unblinded that he had such a responsible position that he would have been aware that he was riding roughshod over rules and regulations. My primary point though is that he is not the ONLY one to blame. Alison Ward (and her early-retired Deputy, Peter Durkin) had a duty to ensure that those below them were acting properly. Bob Wellington had a duty to ensure proper scrutiny of the venture. Mr Jenes and Mrs Barnard had a duty to report concerns, yet seemingly stayed silent for some time. Board members Durkin from Torfaen and Stevenson (was it?) from Gwent Police should have been alert. And of course Dastgir, if he did realise that the way things were set up wasn't conducive to the effective creation and development of this groundbreaking venture should have expressed his concerns, so that the powers that be could have found ways around it. This has affected the whole of the Welsh Government's collaboration idea. After this would it pour money into such a collaboration between public bodies again? Anyway, back to Torfaen, Gwent Police and possibly the CPS. I suspect that June is going to be the month of the long knives in those 3. No doubt they'll blame each other, just as Torfaen's great and good will blame 'FD' and turn on each other if he is again absolved of blame. As an aside, bosses are often referred to by their initials and I thought that with unblinded using it there may have been some sort of works relationship. Since you've used it and referred to work I guess that he was/is known that way. As you can see I understand the point and have used it myself. So, where do things go from here? I note there's been no comments from any of the major players in the paper. Has Torfaen (or Gwent Police for that matter) been asked to comment?[/p][/quote]I'm afraid they will do what they always do, bury heads in the sand and wait for it to go away, as for a Bob Wellington comment you will not get one, this scheme has gone wrong, he will be to busy passing the buck, blaming everyone else and trying to save his own neck, Ward,Wellington,Durk in and Stevenson should have been on trial as well as Dastgir. indy2012
  • Score: 0

11:05pm Fri 23 May 14

CrownCourtJester says...

I can't argue with that indy2012 !

Let's see if the Welsh Government/WAO give them all a fair examination and review.
I can't argue with that indy2012 ! Let's see if the Welsh Government/WAO give them all a fair examination and review. CrownCourtJester
  • Score: 1

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