Hearing for councillor over ‘bigot’ e-mail jibe

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A VETERAN councillor is to face a standards hearing after branding residents who opposed a planning application “bigots”.

Tory councillor David Rudd became the subject of a complaint by a resident after he made the remarks in an e-mail which later appeared in a newspaper article.

An investigation by officials concluded there was a potential breach of the code of conduct, which states councillors should treat others with respect.

The former chairman of East Riding Council made the comments after residents complained about a banner going up in a residential street in Market Weighton, advertising new homes for sale.

There was already simmering anger about the development and complaints had been made to the town’s Mayor Peter Hemmerman.

Coun Hemmerman said: “I sent him an e-mail about the complaints and copied it to the newspapers and he replied but copied everyone else in. The local press picked up on it. I think there is a case to answer.

“A ward member is supposed to represent residents and to call them bigots is something that needs to be taken to task. These are the people who voted him in.”

In the e-mail Coun Rudd wrote that the application for the banner “will be viewed on planning issues and determined as such, after careful consideration of all legitimate planning reasons from local residents, and not from certain bigots who cannot accept that this area has been designated for development for more years than most of them have lived in the area.”

Yesterday Coun Rudd, a councillor of 26 years, said: “I do apologise if I have upset anybody. It was just on the spur of the moment. There had been a lot of controversy over this particular development and

“I wrote this particular e-mail and thought oh no, not again. It was just the few words that came out of my vocabulary. I probably used a bit too strong a word.”

A standards committee will hear the case on February 7 and decide whether to impose any sanctions.