Four former Mayors of Kirklees, a deputy leader and a handful of councillors you’ve probably never heard of.
The culprits in the Kirklees “ratesgate” scandal have been exposed after months of rumours and investigation.
Last month it was revealed that five councillors had been issued court summons for non-payment of council tax.
Yesterday, the council admitted it was actually six but it refused to name one, who it says is no longer a serving councillor.
Clr Jean Calvert
The most shocking revelation was that Labour’s long serving Ashbrow member, Clr Jean Calvert, who was deputy leader of Kirklees Council for the past two years, was one of the guilty four.
The popular councillor, who wore the prestigious mayoral chains of Kirklees in 2007/08, was put under the spotlight in early 2014 when she was taken to court for potentially breaching laws surrounding councillors voting on financial matters while being in arrears on her own account in 2013.
But at Bradford Magistrates Court she was found not guilty of two counts of breaking Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 after her defence that she did not know of the law was accepted by a judge.
Despite this brush with the law, Clr Calvert has now been revealed to have ignored a host of reminder letters that she owed council tax, landing her with summons for £843 and £96.
Details released by Kirklees show that, amazingly, Clr Calvert was due to appear in court for the latest summons on May 11, just two days after allegedly playing a part in a political coup that unseated her boss, Clr David Sheard.
The court appearance was avoided after she settled the unpaid debt in full, including the council’s costs.
The first summons in 2014/15 was also withdrawn after the arrears were paid up.
Last week Clr Calvert told Examiner journalists on two separate occasions that she had not been summonsed in the past two years.
Clr Calvert, who was paid £31,432 for her role in 2015/16, did not respond to the Examiner’s request for a comment.
Clr Amanda Pinnock
Her Ashbrow ward colleague, Clr Amanda Pinnock, also denied being involved in the unpaid tax scandal when confronted by the Examiner earlier in May.
But yesterday her name was revealed as that of “Cllr M”, exposing her as someone who had ignored four reminder letters in 2015/16 landing her with two summons, worth in total £1,149.77.
Both were withdrawn after the money was paid up.
Clr Pinnock, whose Twitter profile says she is a solicitor and a “promoter of natural justice”, was elected to Kirklees Council in 2015 after her predecessor Cath Harris stood down due to illness.
She has three years left on her term as councillor.
Clr Pinnock also did not return the Examiner’s message.
Clr Mohammed Sarwar
The largest unpaid debt was named as that of long serving Crosland Moor and Netherton councillor, Mohammed Sarwar.
Clr Sarwar, who runs a convenience store on Newsome Road and has been a councillor since 1999, says his £1,186.16 debt was due to a misunderstanding.
But council records show he was issued four reminders before the court summons for the four-figure total was issued.
He said: “I received a summons in 2014 which I paid immediately and which was withdrawn after one day.
“The summons was for council tax on a property I had been renting out.
“The previous tenants had complete responsibility themselves on all affairs regarding bills. As the property was empty during refurbishment, the law on council tax had changed and as a result this situation occurred.
“I know that this was unacceptable.
“I made an honest mistake, but I should have known better, and all I can say in my defence is that I paid what I owed as soon as I was made aware of the situation.”
Clr Amanda Stubley
Clr Amanda Stubley, Labour member for Batley East since 2011, has been a backbencher for all of her term.
The council’s records show she owed £763.53 when summonsed but avoided court by paying up her debt.
Clr Stubley did not respond to the Examiner’s request for comment.
Clr Donna Bellamy
Clr Donna Bellamy, Conservative member for the Colne Valley, is the final serving councillor who found their name on a court list.
Clr Bellamy was issued reminders four times and then was due in court on May 11.
She avoided standing in the dock by paying her debt.
Clr Bellamy came forward before the names were exposed by a Freedom of Information request.
Some of the councillors who have been issued reminders that they were in arrears have also agreed to own up.
They include three former Mayors, Lib Dem David Ridgway and Labour’s Clr Paul Kane and Clr Eric Firth.
Clr Kane, who was Mayor until last week, said his debt was an “oversight” and he had now set up a Direct Debit to automatically pay his monthly bill.
Mr Ridgway, who lost his Colne Valley seat last month, said his red letter was the council’s mistake and claimed they had lost his payments.
Fellow former Lib Dem councillor for Almondbury, Phil Scott, former Tory for Lindley, Tony Brice and serving Green for Newsome, Clr Karen Allison, have all admitted they were sent reminders.