“Election candidates put off by bullying and intimidation” – claim

BULLYING and intimidation is being blamed for the fact  there was no contest for a vacant seat on Frodsham Town Council.
A by-election was called by Labour in Waterside Ward after former Mayor Mallie Poulton (pictured above) resigned citing bullying as the reason he was stepping down.
But only one candidate put their name forward – Labour’s Leander Wilson – so she has been elected unopposed.
But four Conservative councillors have signed a letter being distributed throughout Waterside ward claiming other potential candidates were put off from standing because of bullying and intimidation.
The four – Cllrs Lynn Riley and Andrew Dawson, of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cllrs Alan Wordsworth and Liam Jones – say they hope all councillors in Frodsham will now join them in  taking a stand against a “dangerous and damaging culture” growing in the town.
The letter states: “The previous councillor for this area resigned citing bullying as a reason for stepping down. Initially abusive comments on Facebook were laughed off, as were those same comments when made offline. However, after years of this constant abuse, the councillor in question could take it no more.
“Now we have found that this culture of abuse and intimidation has taken a new turn for the worse and goes further than we had realised.
“When this election was called, potential candidates, good people who wished for nothing other than to serve their community, were convinced by online threats and violent intimidation not to put themselves forward.
“One potential candidate said that he was ‘not thick skinned enough’ to deal with the abuse that some seem to get on Facebook. Others have received direct abuse online as well as in person for just showing an interest in becoming a councillor.
“When this translates into frightening and personal threats we have to say ‘enough’ as nothing warrants this sort of intimidation.
“Is this the Frodsham we recognise and call home? This beautiful town, with its wonderful people surely cannot be allowed to become a breeding ground for bullies who, though clearly in the minority, like all bullies want to shout the loudest by silencing others or, worse, make their threats directly into someone’s home using social media.
“We will not tolerate it. Wherever we see intimidation occurring we pledge to you that we will challenge it. If enough of the silent majority in Frodsham do the same, we may just be able to stamp out this emerging culture before it becomes too deep-rooted.
“So we ask you to join us in this pledge. If you see intimidation in real life or online, on Facebook or on Twitter, challenge it and report it. Let’s shame the individuals in question so that they know the people of our town do not accept that their activities have any place here.”

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