Lib Dem Councillor Deborah Hughes vindicated

March 25, 2020 10:25 AM
By Cllr Ann-Marie Barker

Ann-Marie Barker and Deborah HughesIndependence of Scrutiny committee confirmed

Councillor Deborah Hughes has been vindicated in a complaint brought against her by lawyers acting for Woking Football Club and the developers behind the Cardinal Court development proposals. The complaint has been fully dismissed as wholly unfounded.

Councillor Hughes, the Liberal Democrat Chair of Woking Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee said:

"It is a great relief that this unpleasant personal attack on me and on the independence of the Council's scrutiny function has been rejected. The Overview and Scrutiny committee should not shy away from the need to challenge and question decisions and make constructive criticism. If any future Chair of the Scrutiny Committee is to support scrutiny into topics of public interest in future, then attacks of this nature should be robustly challenged."

Woking Council's lawyer, having considered the complaint, determined there was no case to answer.

"I am delighted that common sense has prevailed and this complaint, which threatened the independence of the Council's scrutiny function, has been roundly rejected" said Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Ann-Marie Barker.


Councillor Hughes, Chair of Woking Council's Overview & Scrutiny Committee was accused of bias and of not having conducted herself in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee. A legal letter from London lawyers Gowling WLG was sent to Woking Council's solicitor on 3 March 2020.