It's not every day a convicted fraudster with a gambling habit which required treatment, is elected to be the chairman of a council Finance and General Purposes Committee. In 2015, the people of Ripon found out what it is like.
He knows what he’s doing in that role, there’s no-one else from our group with the right sort of experience to do that Peter Horton
Andrew Williams was the mayor of Ripon when he decided to pocket the £220 takings of an ice cream van during celebrations of the Queen's Golden Jubillee in 2012. Following his conviction for this offence in 2014, he was sentenced to a 12 month supervision order to help address a gambling problem. He was also tasked to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work.
Following Independents gaining control of the city council in the summer of 2015, Williams was elected to his finance post at the first council meeting. His 12 months supervision order period had not yet passed, yet a sufficient number of his fellow independent councillors considered him a suitable candidate.