Man claims council boss ‘lied to court’

North Lanarkshire Council's Motherwell HQ.
North Lanarkshire Council's Motherwell HQ.

NORTH Lanarkshire Council’s finance boss has denied an allegation that he put false information before a court in a bid to get thousands of pounds in unpaid rates from a businessman.

Brian Cook last week faced claims that he abused his power and misled a sheriff who had granted a warrant in respect of the debt against Colin Gibson.

The startling allegations were made during a hearing at Hamilton Sheriff Court where Mr Gibson was being sued by his solicitors for not paying them.

Mr Cook, the council’s head of revenue services, went into the witness box to insist he had done nothing wrong and the decision to pursue Mr Gibson for the arrears was the right one.

Mr Gibson, from Bothwell, was the part owner of a jewellery shop in Airdrie. The court heard rates for 1999 were not paid and the council took action to recover the money.

A summary warrant was taken out against Mr Gibson, stating that he was the tenant of the property, and he was threatened with sequestration. He finally paid £8,000 plus £4,000 costs last year, but said the only reason he did so was because he couldn’t afford to fight the action in the Court of Session.

Mr Gibson claimed the tenant of the shop was a company called Bridge Wynd and the council was aware of that.

Full story in this week’s Bellshill Speaker and Motherwell Times, out on Wednesday.