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Swale council staff told not to speak to councillor

By John Nurden

Staff at Swale council have been told not to speak to a councillor.

The unusual instruction was given on the authority's closed Intranet service.

It was meant to have remained confidential but its existence was made public by Cllr Alan Horton, the new leader of the Swale Conservative group, at the end of a full council meeting at Swale House, Sittingbourne.

Staff at Swale Council have been told not to speak to a councillor
Staff at Swale Council have been told not to speak to a councillor

The councillor was not named in public but the identity is known to KentOnline.

Cllr Horton said: "At least two councillors saw a risk relevant enough to warn people. What about the public?

He asked members: "How would you feel if someone, acting as part of this council, did something to harm anyone they had contact with?

"What about the leader of the group this person belongs to? They are not showing proper leadership.

"If it was someone in this party, I would have suspended them without delay.

"At least two councillors saw a risk relevant enough to warn people... what about the public? - Cllr Alan Horton

"I urge the relevant councillors to show proper leadership and do the right thing."

Swale council leader Cllr Roger Truelove (Lab) said he did not want to comment but insisted: "The leaders involved have the interests of both staff and the member to consider which we’ve done as sensitively as possible."

He added: "I wouldn't think it would be appropriate for it to be shared around council."

The private Intranet message, which KentOnline has seen, said a decision had been made to restrict the councillor's access to staff - although it did not give a reason.

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