Needham Market: Councillor apologises for Facebook comments

A TOWN councillor has apologised after he made “disparaging remarks” about the authority on a social network website.

In a Needham Market Town Council meeting, Martin Spurling had to say sorry after he claimed on Facebook that the authority was being run by “two or three” people.

The town’s mayor Kay Oakes said the activity had to stop as Mr Spurling’s comments could be seen by members of the public.

Mr Spurling said that he initially thought the comments were private and were not in the public domain, but he then accepted the comments were visible to all.

Mrs Oakes asked Mr Spurling to name the councillors he thought were running the council and he mentioned Kay Oakes, Brian Annis and Josephine Lea.

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The discussion came after Mr Spurling criticised the council for doing “too little” to inform people what it does and expressed concern about why councillors had resigned in the past.

He said councillors had resigned as they felt unable to make a difference and that, by looking round the table at the councillors presently serving, many had been in place for years.

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Kevin Hunter, the town clerk, said: “We do advertise in the newsletter which goes to every property in the town, [and] councillors themselves are busy talking to people in the town.”

Mr Hunter said the council had found it “very difficult” recently to fill four councillor vacancies and that was the reason why they had voted for a reduction in the number of seats, from 15 to 13.

The council will now have to apply to Mid Suffolk District Council for permission to reduce the number of seats.

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