You are here:

Latest news

Councillor Richard Siddall draws a line under recent past, signalling enough is enough and a new beginning

Published on Monday, 15th November 2021

Leader Designate Councillor Richard Siddall is today publishing an Open Letter, with support of 25 Maldon District Councillors, to draw a line under recent events.

Councillor Richard Siddall said: “The open letter firmly supports the need for zero tolerance towards hate crime, backing the ‘Enough Is Enough’ campaign also launched today by the Council.

“We have all seen the distressing impacts of hate crime. The tragic death of MP, Sir David Amess and other alarming events only bring additional worry and concern for the Council and its elected members at what has been a challenging time.

“Councillors stand together with staff at the Council.

“We must move on and focus on what we are elected to do.”

Open letter to the public and the communities we serve

We are writing this open letter as a group of councillors from across the political divide as a consequence of the unacceptable behaviour some of us have experienced personally, and which council staff have experienced over past few weeks.

We are united in our view that enough is enough - the abuse and harassment of staff and elected members of this authority has got to stop.

As elected politicians, we fully understand that there will be political disagreements.

We also know and accept and welcome that members of the public will want to hold us to account and will have views, sometimes very strong views, on our policies and some of the decisions that we make. That is all part of a democracy.

We have no wish whatsoever to stifle debate, criticism or peaceful protest - they are cornerstones of the British political system.

But what we cannot accept is the appalling behaviour of a minority who believe they are entitled to abuse, harass, and intimidate staff and elected members as they go about their work for the people of Maldon.

That behaviour, which has been widely reported over the past week, has no place in our society or our democracy and it threatens the ability of our authority to deliver the vital services that we provide to the citizens of the Maldon district.

Throughout the pandemic, our staff have worked tirelessly, often unnoticed, to continue to provide services to the people of the district. As we emerge from Covid 19, as a council we want to focus on the future and how we can support our community in so many ways as it recovers.

However, the hostile climate which a small number of people have been trying to create is hampering us in that vital effort.

We are determined they will not succeed. This open letter has been signed by 25 members of Maldon District Council because we stand in united opposition to the ugly, aggressive, confrontational, and abusive behaviour toward elected members and council officers we have witnessed or been subjected to. We hope you, as the people we are elected to serve, agree with us that enough is enough.


Yours sincerely,

Cllr Richard Siddall

Cllr Penny Channer

Cllr Mark Heard

Cllr Wendy Stamp

Cllr Jeanette Stilts

Cllr Maddie Thompson

Cllr Carlie Mayes

Cllr Vanessa Bell

Cllr Mark Durham

Cllr Anne Beale

Cllr Brian Beale

Cllr Sue White

Cllr Bruce Heubner

Cllr John Keyes

Cllr Bob Boyce

Cllr Clive Morley

Cllr Mark Bassenger

Cllr Anne Hull

Cllr Kevin Lagan

Cllr Nick Skeens

Cllr Christopher Swain

Cllr Stephen Nunn

Cllr Michael Edwards

Cllr Jane Fleming

Cllr Flo Shaughnessy