UKCORRUPTFAMILYCOURTS

May 2, 2010

A COUNCILLOR with a child porn conviction has defended his decision to join a committee, which deals with legislation including rules protecting children.

A COUNCILLOR with a child porn conviction has defended his decision to join a committee, which deals with legislation including rules protecting children.

Councillor Lee Wanger‘s appearance on Stoke-on-Trent City Council‘s licensing and consumer protection committee comes just a month after he said he would not take up the role.

The Tunstall ward member, pictured, had initially told The Sentinel he would step down after concerns were raised by council members about his suitability.

But he said he is taking on the role to serve residents who re-elected him in 2006.

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He is adamant that his conviction has no bearing on his ability to serve on the two licensing panels.

He said: “I wasn’t going to join the panels at first, but after seeking legal clarification I was told that there was no reason I could not take up the roles.

“As leader of the Stoke-on-Trent Independent Group, I am entitled to these seats.

“I know some members are unhappy about my decision, but I think this is part of a political campaign against me in the run-up to the local elections.

“I have always voluntarily stayed away from any roles that would involve contact with children and will continue to do so.

“Should a case come to either committee involving a person with previous convictions for sexual offences then I would not sit in on that part of the hearing.”

Mr Wanger was convicted in January 2005 of paying $25 to subscribe to a child porn website in 1999, although he has always maintained his innocence.

He was fined £250 and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years. The order expired last month.

He said: “My conviction is spent now and I have served my time.

“People in this city do have faith in me as a councillor, and that’s why I was re-elected after my conviction.”

Mr Wanger attended his first committee meeting yesterday.

The committee deals with issues such as licensees selling alcohol to under-18s and assessing whether those applying to become taxi drivers pose a risk to the public.

At yesterday’s meeting, vice-chairman Councillor Joy Garner asked officers whether panel members should be subjected to stringent child protection checks.

In a discussion on competence tests for taxi drivers, she said: “We are taking steps to improve the quality of cars and drivers, but there is legislation coming through dealing with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.

“How do the Independent Safeguarding Authority checks affect drivers, operators and us as council members?”

Licensing officer Rachel Collier said it would be up to the council’s standards committee whether any council members would need to be registered with the safeguarding initiative.

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1 Comment »

  1. Just when I think ive seen/head it all something like this crops up! A man interested in child pornography no matter when the alleged offence occured was should NOT be on a board involved with decisions about children!!!

    Comment by Sabina Heywood — May 3, 2010 @ 2:33 am | Reply


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