Want to be a Stradbroke Parish councillor? Best own a farm, employ dozens of "men" and own several properties...

As many of you will have picked up there has been as we would say where I was born "trouble at the mill" at Stradbroke Parish Council recently.

Disagreements amongst councillors might seem to be business as usual but some of this has got extremely personal recently with attempts to single out one councillor as being personally responsible for this. As I am this councillor I might be tempted to feeling flattered that I can single handedly do such a thing but I haven't. Several others on the Council and in the village agree but there is a climate of fear, bullying and intimidation. At least one person has decided against standing as a councillor after being on the receiving end of an unpleasant email from councillors who should know better.

Tonight yet another example of this popped into my Inbox from long standing Councillor Peter Smith that I think sheds some light on why some members of the Council seem so genuinely angry at being challenged. I will quote the whole email:
Dear All, I feel I must pass this phone call on-  "Hello Peter Smith speaking " (Irate voice on phone) " I have lived in the village for 45 years and have never known such unpleasantness, what the hell has gone wrong,"I do my best to inform him of what has gone on over the last 6 months, I get a sharp reply, " Who is this Councilor, does he employ dozens of men, has he several properites or owns 3 or4 farms in the area? My answer " NO ". Irate voice again " Why the hell has he been allowed to get away with his conduct? " I do my best to smooth him done.  I had a laugh when I told Marie what had been said, ( I suppose all but one councilor will smile at this email). Peter
As you can see this is personal and pretty nasty but it also shows I feel why some long standing councillors do not like being challenged by someone like me! I don't "employ dozens of men". Where I work we actually mainly employ women. I own only one house which my wife and I own with a mortgage we are paying off like many of you by working and I don't own any farms. Apparently this means I am not allowed a voice in the future of our village.

For those of you who are interested the next Parish Council meeting is on Monday, that is 11th August at 7.30pm in the Community Centre. Everyone is free to come down an observe for themselves what happens. After all, we live in a democracy where we all get an equal voice irrespective of wealth or status. Or at least I thought we did.
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