Top councillor probed over claims he disclosed sensitive sex case information

A senior South Ribble councillor is under investigation over claims he divulged confidential information about an alleged child sex case involving a taxi driver to another taxi worker.

Wednesday, 26th October 2016, 9:27 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th October 2016, 4:09 pm
Coun Graham Walton

Cabinet member Coun Graham Walton is being probed over a conversation with a taxi operator while on a night out.

He is said to have talked about a five-year-old girl’s involvement with a male taxi driver. The case did not make it to court, but was central to an investigation into safeguarding concerns at the council.

A complaint over Coun Walton’s behaviour has been made by the company boss and the girl’s mother to South Ribble Council, and the police.

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In the complaint, the mother alleges Coun Walton “was acting in a very persistent manor and was “fishing” for information as well as passing it on.”

She adds: “I can not begin to tell you the distress this has caused me, and it raises the question, was this the topic of conversation in the pub he had just left?”

The company boss said: “Not only has he upset a member of my staff, he has passed confidential information to her.”

Coun Walton admitted he spoke to a member of staff from the taxi company, but denied saying anything inappropriate.

He said: “It’s ridiculous. I talked to a woman - I don’t even know her name - but it was all about how it was going with the taxis. I was saying to her that I was glad to have this investigation at the council over with, or at least trying to get it over with, nothing derogatory or inappropriate. I’m just sorry for everyone involved.”

The council confirmed it has received a complaint and is investigating. Lancashire Police have made a decision not to investigate.