‘Culture of bullying’ at council should not be tolerated in 2021

GuildallI JUST wanted to write and say “well said” to your editorial (Francesca Evans’ column in LymeOnline, June 25).

As someone who has been thinking about joining the parish council, this is exactly the sort of behaviour which puts me off getting involved.

Do I care about my local councils? No, why should I when I see such behaviour?

Sadly, I really should care because they are there to benefit and inspire my local community. And I really want to care as well.

Unfortunately, this sort of behaviour is seen at governmental level as well and I’m not sure whether this sort of behaviour reflects that or whether it is simply bad manners? I fear it is more a culture of bullying and intimidation which should not be tolerated in 2021.

I run my own SME with 18 staff and, as you describe, that sort of language (or body language) would be deemed totally unacceptable in our organisation. Our mantra is “speak as you would wish to be spoken to”.

Of course, people will have differing opinions and there will be disagreements, but without courteous discussion and compromise we never move forward.

These people who allegedly represent us should look further afield at the international disputes and disagreements (of which there are too many unfortunately) to see that these situations are only ever resolved when people talk to each other in a meaningful and constructive way.

They are a micro-version of this and, as you say, the man in the street has no interest in these people, who are more interested in their own self promotion (and ensuring their opinion is heard) than the interests of the local communities they represent.

We want our local councils to be representative of a cross section of society (sex, age, background, extroverts, introverts, etc.) but it feels like they are full of aggressive, bullying people all out of the same mould.

The headlines of your paper should be about the terrific work the local council are doing, so that we can be proud and inspired to want to join and help drive things forward rather than all this negative energy, which ultimately leads to only one outcome… and that certainly won’t be me throwing my hat into the ring!

Jonathan Field
(by email)

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Woodmead Halls

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