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Chairman's Column 16 November 2021

Published on Wednesday, 17th November 2021

Enough is Enough

“This column has always been intended to keep you informed of the work of Maldon District Council and to give you an insight into what is being done for you, your families and friends by its staff and members. However, because of a series of upsetting and unpleasant events recently, Members have written an open letter which I would like to draw your attention to.

“The open letter published by the Leader Designate, Councillor Richard Siddall, has been issued with the support of 25 Maldon District Councillors, to draw a line under recent events. It reads as follows: -

Open letter to the public and 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.

“We hope you, as the people we are elected to serve, agree with us that enough is enough.”

Councillor Mark S. Heard
Chairman of Maldon District Council