Stalwart councillor under investigation after claims he skipped important pensions meeting

Coun Eddie McAtominey outside the new Hebburn Hub
Coun Eddie McAtominey outside the new Hebburn Hub

SOUTH Tyneside’s longest-serving councillor is facing disciplinary action.

An investigation has been launched into Coun Eddie McAtominey over a conference in York earlier this month.

We are investigating the allegations that have been made, and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment any further.

The veteran Labour councillor, first elected in 1973, is chairman of South Tyneside Council’s pensions committee and, in that capacity, was due to attend a meeting of the Tyne and Wear Pensions Fund in York.

The council oversees the fund on behalf of the region’s other local authorities.

The allegation is understood to be that Coun McAtominey didn’t attend a meeting as the council’s representative.

It is understood that Coun McAtominey has already had talks with council leader Coun Iain Malcolm to have the allegation put to him.

An investigation is ongoing, and Coun McAtominey now has the right to put forward a defence.

If the allegation is proven, he could face deselection as candidate for the Hebburn South ward seat he is due to defend at May’s local elections.

A major force on the borough’s political scene for more than four decades, Coun McAtominey has also been a driving force behind the regeneration of Hebburn town centre.

A South Tyneside Council spokesman: “We are investigating the allegations that have been made, and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

Wilf Flynn, secretary of the Jarrow constituency Labour Party, declined to comment on the probe as did Coun McAtominey, of Sullivan Walk, Hebburn.

Coun McAtominey is a former lead member of jobs, enterprise and regeneration on the council’s cabinet and was also the authority’s representative on Northumbria Police Authority until he resigned from those positions in 2008.

As chairman of the Hebburn Regeneration Board he has been at the heart of the town’s ambitious revamp plans, including the creation of the Hebburn Central community facility at the heart of the town.

Coun McAtominey is also a member of the council’s human resources committee, appeals panel and housing performance panel.

Additionally, he is a governor at three Hebburn schools – Hebburn Comprehensive, Toner Avenue Primary and St Aloysius Primary Federation School.

He is also a member of the management committee at Clegwell Community Association.

Married to fellow Hebburn South Labour councillor Nancy Maxwell, he ran the printing firm Washington Graphics for many years.

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