A COMPLAINT raised against a Basingstoke and Deane borough councillor has been thrown out.

In November last year, a complaint against Overton, Laverstoke and Steventon ward councillor Ian Tilbury was made after what was described in a decision notice report on the complaint as ‘interfering’ in a long-running noise dispute against the Bombay Sapphire distillery.

However, it was decided by the council and an independent standards assessor on December 8, 2017 to reject the complaint.

The reasons given were that the conduct in the complaint happened more than six months before the complaint was submitted, and that there was no prima facie evidence that the council’s code of conduct had been breached.

The complainants alleged that Cllr Tilbury had been ‘very vocal’ in opposition to the long-running complaint and that he had ‘interfered’ in the issue.

However, Cllr Tilbury has argued that he was doing his job. He said: “It’s the job of a councillor to investigate a complaint, it’s not illegal, it’s how being a councillor works.

“They say I’ve been interfering, when I’m doing my job. The accusations are complete nonsense, and it’s good that they have been thrown out.

“I feel that it is important to challenge accusations like these as, if I don’t, they persist.”

Part of the complaint detailed: “We feel that Cllr Tillbury (sic) has acted in a hostile manner towards our household, has interfered in a complicated noise investigation when explicitly asked not to.

“We believe that Cllr Tillbury (sic) is unduly biased toward Bombay Sapphire and that this has been frequently reflected in his support of the Laverstoke Mill development.

“We feel that he has acted in a rude, inappropriate and undemocratic manner.”

This part of the complaint was addressed in the decision that was made.

The decision report compiled by the assessor read: “No details have been provided which indicate how and when the alleged hostility was exhibited. There is no indication of the form or nature of the alleged bias, its inappropriateness and when and how this has been exhibited.”

The ward councillor has supported the initial Bombay Sapphire development when it was first proposed.

Cllr Tilbury added: “Bombay Sapphire are a major employer in the area, they have brought in money and tourism, and kept work in the borough.

“It is a benefit to the village.”