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Councillor facing Ombudsman enquiry on Facebook comments

Created on 12/01/2018 @ 10:54
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A Welshpool Town Councillor has been reported to the Local Government Ombudsman for comments made on Facebook following a Boxing Day protest against fox hunting in Welshpool.

Councillor Heather Chave has apologised for her remarks on social media but at a special meeting this week the Town Council decided she had breached the council’s code of conduct and voted to take complaints against the councillor to the Ombudsman.

But the meeting cleared both Councillor Chave and Councillor Nicola Morris of any wrong-doings during the Boxing Day hunt protest.

Town Clerk Robert Robinson said the council received a number of letters of complaint and support regarding Councillors Heather Chave and Nicola Morris, who were part of a demonstration against fox hunting located outside the Town Hall.

“The Councillors were acting as individuals and not representing the Town Council on this day with regards to the event or issue of Fox Hunting,” said Mr Robinson. “The Council recognises the right for individuals to campaign in a free country.

“The council has clear evidence that both councillors acted properly on the day of the hunt outside the Town Hall. What others did within the protest group in not a matter for the Town Council.

“The councillors signed up to a code of conduct which applies 365 days a year and 24 hours a day in all walks of life and the council considered that Councillor Chave’s comments on Facebook were in breach of the code,” he added.

“The Council expects all its councillors and staff to act in a professional and polite way at all times without exception.

“The Council also expresses its concern that Facebook is being used in an abusive way and that there is clearly on occasions ‘cyber bullying’ taking place.  The Council will not support such uses of Facebook and does hope in the future that people will use this useful social media in a civilised way.”


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