'Hate campaign' has no substance, says Malmesbury councillor after resignation calls (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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'Hate campaign' has no substance, says Malmesbury councillor after resignation calls
Updated 3:36pm Thursday 8th May 2014 in News
Town and Wiltshire councillor Simon Killane has spoken out after a petition calling for his resignation was signed by nearly 150 people and an official complaint was made against him.
Town councillor Julie Exton said she submitted an official complaint to the monitoring officer at Wiltshire Council after what she says was an abusive phone call from Coun Killane on Good Friday.
She said Coun Killane demanded she support him publicly on social networking site Facebook or he would not support any grant applications for Malmesbury Vics Football Club, of which Coun Exton is treasurer.
Coun Exton’s son Chris set up the online petition and a paper version has been circulated.
Coun Exton has said: “I think it’s very true what people are saying in the petition. It’s taking people a lot of courage to come forward and say how they feel.”
But Coun Killane, who chairs the Neighbourhood Steering Group, Wiltshire Council’s scrutiny committee, and is vice chairman of Malmesbury Area Board, has now said that the petition, representing a minority of the 4,000 electorate, has ‘no credibility’.
He expressed concern for his family’s welfare and said: “In my view this is an intentional hate campaign against me with no substance behind it.
“It’s damaging my reputation in the town, it’s totally upsetting my wife and it’s creating a divide in the town towards me and my family; it’s totally out of order.
“In my time as a councillor tell me why then I have never had a complaint launched against me through Wiltshire Council.
“What exactly is it that I have done as a councillor that warrants my resignation? Something serious must have been done but I don’t see anything serious.
“Many of the people on that site [Facebook], in my view, have a special grievance with something I have done to make our town a better place.”
Sgt Martin Alvis, of Malmesbury Police, said: “Measures have been put in place in response to some complaints received following some posts put up on social networking sites.
“A couple of people have received advice in respect to what they have posted and some posts have been removed.
“If people aren’t happy with a certain councillor there is a complaints procedure to follow.
"Some people need to grow up and stop hiding behind their Facebook profile.
“Malmesbury is better than this and we’ve got far better things to do then sort out people’s discussions on Facebook."
Wiltshire Council has confirmed that a complaint has been received and would be dealt with in the normal way.
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