Blog post causes row at Stradbroke parish council


A row has erupted at a north Suffolk parish council after a councillor’s blog criticised both the parish authority and its chairman.

James Hargrave, councillor at Stradbroke Parish Council, claimed in a blog post in December the parish authority was “broken,” and had “failed completely to take effective action about the things that really matter.” At the following parish council meeting earlier this month, chairman Nick Stones read a statement, urging members to stop “sniping at each other, both in meetings, and in the media,” and “pull together”.

But a further blog post from Mr Hargrave, said the meeting was “worse than expected” and insisted councillor loyalty should be to residents, not each other.

Mr Stones told the Diss Express: “My first reaction (to the latest blog post) would not be printable in a public newspaper.

“It is just a little thing we are going through at the moment and I am sure it will sort itself out. We live in a democracy. People are entitled to their opinions and views and when they write their blogs it would be nice if they were accurate.”

Mr Hargrave said that Mr Stones’s statement was a “shock” and that councillors should be free to express opinions in the interests of the local taxpayer. without being accused of disloyalty.