What Grants Have Councillors Given to Frimley Green Pre-School?

I am writing this independently, but I am drawing on information I have as a Trustee/Director of the charity that runs Frimley Green Pre-School at the Community Centre on Balmoral Drive, Frimley.

Frimley Green Pre-School suffered some vandalism Friday night. A message went out on social media that many local people responded to. Initially, we thought the damage might come to 4 figures worth of cost, and through my network we immediately got an offer of support from the Lisa May Foundation.

Today, a message was posted by Helen Whitcroft, Councillor for Frimley Green on the “Frimley Green Ward Neighborhood Forum”:

It is not true that “Councillors have donated from our award scheme toward equipment ..”. No Borough Councillor Grant awards have been made to the charity that runs the nursery school. Promises have been made, applications have been made, but nothing has ever been donated by Helen Whitcroft, Sashi Mylvaganam or Cliff Betton.

I know this as a member of the Committee/Trustee/Director who has access to the bank statements.

I was reluctant to call this out, but being a Trustee of a Charity brings with it significant legal responsibilities, and I’m not willing to have lies told about contributions to the charity without calling them out.

It does appear to be a clear breach of the Surrey Heath Borough Council Members Code of Conduct, and has been reported to the Council’s Monitoring Officer.

Since I called it out, Helen Whitcroft made a comment suggesting that she might have been mistaken but that she had made it ‘in good faith’:

The irony of Helen’s ‘inadvertent lie’ will not be lost on our intelligent residents who voted for Helen in disgust at the House of Commons Privileges Committee Report published last Thursday.

Should there be an ability to call a by-election when a Borough Councillor is found to have breached the Code of Conduct?

Stuart Black, 18 June 2023.