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New calls for former Dudley mayor to resign after formal warning
12:08pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Local
SHAMED former Dudley Mayor Ray Burston visited at least 50 adult websites on his council computer and previously had been warned about his penchant for pornography.
The Hayley Green and Cradley South Conservative councillor appeared before Dudley Council’s standards committee last night (Wednesday) and was given a formal warning for using council equipment to access pornography.
At the hearing Cllr Burston admitted former Conservative leader David Caunt had given him “a quiet word” about pornography around 10 years ago.
Dudley Council’s cabinet member for children’s services and Cradley councillor Tim Crumpton called for Cllr Burston, who previously campaigned against pornography, to resign after the hearing. He said: “They knew about it.
“He should go. I said he should go before, I’m absolutely certain he should go now.”
He added: “He used to be Mayor and was in charge of safeguarding for all our children in Dudley – it doesn’t show the right signs.
“If he does it at home it’s not illegal, although it’s not something people would shout from the roof tops, but he used official council equipment.
“He’s got to go, he should simply say ‘that’s it then’.”
Monitoring officer Phillip Tart, who undertook the standards investigation, said: “A sample of the searches and images accessed on Cllr Burston’s computer were referred to the Internet Watch Foundation for formal review.
“The organisation assessed the 50 URLs (web addresses) referred as part of the investigation.
“The IWF have reported that there were a range of images of an adult nature on some of the websites, which included some artistic and naturist images.”
None of the images were illegal or featured children and the Internet Watch Foundation concluded it would take no further action.
Mr Tart added: “Whilst the images that have been downloaded are not of an illegal nature, the access does constitute a breach of the council’s protocols governing the use of its IT equipment and the standards.”
Cllr Burston stunned fellow members at Dudley Council in July when he admitted accessing pornography on his council laptop and resigned from the shadow cabinet.
Councillor Burston first served on Dudley Council from 1988 to 1996 and was re-elected in 2000.
He was mayor in 2008/9 and was previously a member of the audit and standards committee.
He told the silent council chamber he intends to stay on as a ward councillor but as an act on contrition will donate the remainder of his member’s allowance for his term of office to the current mayor of Dudley’s charities.
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