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All Tory councillors resign from 12-person council

Council business has been suspended at a town’s local authority after all 10 of its Conservative councillors resigned due to “bullying, abuse and harassment” from members of the public.

Jane Pearce, who was chair of the party and a councillor at Desborough Town Council in Northamptonshire, stepped down two weeks ago after her and her family were harassed following an unpopular 400% council tax hike in 2016.

The increase took the annual levy from £19.10 to £96.98 and reportedly paid for a new pedestrian crossing in the town, but has led to the party chair being hounded by angry residents.

A statement on Desborough Town Council’s website said: “Today a total of 10 Desborough Town councillors have resigned with immediate effect.

“As a result ‘reserved powers’ are now in place. All council meetings and council business is suspended until further notice.”

The Daily Mail reported that Pearce had a brick thrown through her patio window, as well as her husband and children taking abuse on Facebook.

Pearce stepped down last month at a town council meeting, which prompted two of her colleagues, Ray Brooks and Allan Matthews, to follow suit, before seven more councillors also resigned from the 12-person council.

In a letter of resignation, Brooks and Matthews condemned the “unpleasantness, rudeness, abuse and bullying” which Pearce and the other Tory councillors had endured.

“Vigorous political debate over issues of substance conducted in a civil manner is one thing. But personal abuse, intimidation and threats is quite another,” the letter read.

Allegedly, videos put up on social media of town council meetings had prompted some residents to post threats and abusive comments to councillors.


Zedman   05/02/2018 at 12:31

Resigning is the easy way out. If you can't stand public criticism then don't become a councillor! It's not a popularity contest!

David C   05/02/2018 at 14:13

This was not public criticism - it was entirely unacceptable violent criminal behaviour. A brick thrown through a window, abuse of husband and children, intimidation and threats. This will never been an acceptable way to conduct any aspect of life, not just politics.

Terry C   05/02/2018 at 18:13

Bricks through the window are the unacceptable face of modern politics. We bemoan the lack of quality candidates in public life, but it is understandable if this is what they face. Zedman should apologise for his comment without delay!

Jenny Roach   06/02/2018 at 10:01

Zedman should apologise. The price of public service should not mean that you are subject to abuse. I wonder how many of the people who were upset by the council tax rise had lobbied their Councillors to do 'something' about not being able to cross that road safely. Personal abuse on social media is now the norm if you hold elected office.

Cllr Roger Clark   06/02/2018 at 15:31

Totally Wrong for any violence towards Councillors at any time or any abuse of any kind. But a 400/: increase to your residents ,did they consulte the public in any way .that is a red flag in today's climate !

Zeboostef   07/02/2018 at 18:40

Zedman, criminal acts of violence are not "public criticism", nor are verbal threats and intimidation of those who are not in public life, i.e. a councillors partners, children or friends. Intimidation and bullying are not what anyone in public life should have to put up with, just like in any other walk of life. They may have acted unwisely in such an enormous rise in precept, although perhaps for a very good cause. The way to tackle this is to vote them out at the next election and replace them with councillors who will put the precept back down to more normal levels for the the area. Having said that who would be mad enough to stand as a councillor where so much violence, and hate is evidently bubbling just under the surface.

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