One of two Labour councillors suspended following last year’s Ratesgate scandal has returned to the fold.
Councillors Amanda Pinnock and Jean Calvert both found themselves in hot water after they were named as two of the five Kirklees councillors who had left council tax bills unpaid so long that they were issued with a court summons. A further seven were issued reminder letters.
Clr Pinnock has now had her suspension lifted.
The Ashbrow member, who had only been a councillor for a year at the time, was sent four reminder letters in 2015/16, each time saying she owed £86.
A court summons for £172 was then sent by Kirklees’ lawyers after she failed to respond.
A second summons for £977.77 was then issued for non-payment of council tax after more arrears built up.
The councillor, who ironically works as a housing lawyer, avoided court action after settling her debts.
But following our exposé, Clr Pinnock took to Facebook accusing the Examiner of being racist for highlighting the issue.
She and Clr Calvert were suspended by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on June 7, 2016 amid allegations of bringing the party into disrepute.
Almost a year on it has been confirmed that Clr Pinnock’s suspension has been lifted by the national party.
A source told the Examiner Clr Pinnock had “her knuckles rapped” by the NEC but was now free to resume full duties as a Labour councillor.
Leader of Kirklees Council, Clr David Sheard, said it was “ridiculous” how long Clr Pinnock had been left not knowing if she would be expelled from the party.
He confirmed Clr Calvert was still awaiting her fate and was unlikely to be dealt with for some time because of the General Election.
Clr Calvert’s case could be more serious as she has repeatedly been found to be avoiding payment of her council tax over a four year period.
In July last year, the Examiner revealed Clr Calvert, a former Mayor of Kirklees and Cabinet member, had received eight reminder letters and five court summons in the five years prior.
In May last year Clr Calvert was sacked as deputy leader by Clr Sheard in a bid to prevent her becoming leader of Kirklees Council.
Since her suspension she has continued her council duties as an independent but was recently photographed sitting with Labour colleagues at the annual Mayor Making ceremony at Huddersfield Town Hall.