Leigh On Sea News. Letter from Couns Arscott & McCurdy – Letter from: Conservative Couns Bernard Arscott and Sandra McCurdy, Leigh Town Council.
SIR, there have been many comments made on various social media platforms about Leigh Town Council and its Conservative Councillors.
1/ Closure of the Community Centre – This is not true as was declared vehemently at the Council meeting on 25th October 2023. There is no way to counter this when there are people dedicated to perpetuating untruths and have prevented the Conservative Councillors from responding to these comments.
We are blocked or moderated from posting replies, to posting once a week, so what can we do to counter this narrative?
2/ Over Sixties Club – We were pleased to be able to respond to a petition from members of the Council’s Over-60s Club who wanted reassurance that the Club will continue. We are more than happy to confirm that the Club will continue into the future, as long as this Council exists.
However, it is worth noting that of the 49 people who responded to this petition, 45% came from outside the Leigh Town Council area. While we welcome all users, it would be great to welcome more over-60s who could benefit from this Club and already contribute to its running through their precept.
We will be having conversations about how we can further develop this service by expanding menus and other offerings. It is disappointing that somebody felt the need to cause undue distress amongst our over-60s who are vulnerable, and regard this service as an important element of their lives, by perpetuating a malicious untruth.
3/ To our detractors – the electoral system in this country is first past the post, and since there was only one candidate for each of those seats, that candidate was returned unopposed and is deemed to be legally elected.
It is wrong to say that it is undemocratic when it was the incompetence and ineptitude of our opponents’ failure to field candidates. Democracy 101 folks! However, some of our Councillors won their seats fair and square. AND, some of our detractors know this, as several of their number stood for seats and lost.
4/ Allotments – Why would anyone think that we planned to get rid of the Allotments when they are protected by law?
What those who criticise do not seem to realise is they are dealing with educated and well-informed Councillors, who do understand the rule of law. We have apparently an alleged solicitor up against us. Surely that person should be aware of the law?
5/ Malicious phone calls and emails – For those who are doing this, please stop. It is extremely unpleasant to receive nasty phone calls with sexual innuendo as a means to putting across a political point.
Talk to the Councillors. They have never indicated that they are not prepared to meet their detractors, and using the floor of a Council meeting, when nothing positive can be achieved, is not the Forum for open and honest discourse.
6/ Non-residents commenting on Leigh matters – Who are these people that do not pay a precept, but have the temerity to comment on matters when they do not have anything to gain from comment?
Even worse they do not have a democratic say in the running of Leigh. Yet, they believe it is acceptable to state publicly that they will campaign and intimidate until the democratically elected Councillors are forced to resign.
This matter will also be put into the hands of the Police if these individuals do not cease and desist because we know who they are.
7/ The Town Clerk & Staff Grievance – As we have previously stated, we are not in a position to discuss either of these two matters.
The Town Clerk, despite reports to the contrary, is very well aware of the basis for her suspension. The staff grievance, while we abhor bullying, and stated such at the recent Council meeting, seems to be an openly discussed matter as a result of the UNISON press release, but to-date the Council has not received a formal grievance.
How can it comment, or assure staff of something it knows nothing about?
While there have been significant demands for these matters to be openly and publicly debated, we are not at liberty to discuss confidential staff matters, or make public comment on them.
How would any reader feel if their employer decided to discuss a disciplinary matter with a third party without consent and knowledge. It would surprise us, if this was acceptable to anyone.
8/ Editor – we hope our detailed update reassures your readers of our commitment to Leigh Town Council residents and we urge them to get in touch, if they have anything they wish to discuss. (Visit: leighonseatowncouncil.gov.uk).
Contact us. Email: [email protected]