8th June

Opening Flintshire’s manilla envelopes Sunday evening, a smaller neatly typed one to Councillor Alison Halford, County Hall address with first class stamp and Chester post mark fell out with the papers. It contained two typed unsigned plain sheets (apart from an odd biro squiggle at the end) and the contents were truly nasty. My first poisonous pen letter! Latex gloved I photocopied the original and stored it for further consideration. As a young detective, I was well aware that what ever is touched leaves some mark by the handler. Forensic advances in DNA testing has now been elevated to being a infallible guide to recognising who has touched an object. Marks on paper are usually particularly revealing! I was shocked that it read as if it had been penned by a fellow councillor although some attempt has been made to move it away from the County Hall scenario. It opened:
”Dear Alison, News of your infamous blog travels fast, and not only along the corridors of County Hall (….) Mentioning XX- name given – (with one letter wrong in the surname) was despicable. Drawing perverse comfort from (XX’s) misfortunes, has rocked us all. It was not your place to kick a man while he was down, and to deliver the blow so triumphantly. XX is a good man, he has served his people well, and he deserves better”. “Who are you to take the high ground with any of us? “ “Your track record is very poor. You cause misery and mayhem wherever you go. It all comes tumbling down behind you in the end. You make yourself so unpopular, your position becomes untenable and you have little alternative but to move on”. “Dangerous game to play Alison.”
“It is of course, never your fault, you are always the victim, everyone else is to blame. (…) History repeats itself.”
The writer continues to describe how I continue to ‘hurt people and their families and never give my actions or the consequences a second thought.’ The letter continued:……
”Your blog will tear this council apart. Your actions have brought it and all of us into disrepute. Your selfish, foolish centred, babbling has done little to help any cause, merely made us a laughing stock”. “You have put us all into a very bad light with the good people who voted for us”. (My bold print not in the letter) “they ( the electorate I assume) expect our time to be taken up with important issues not squandered on spiteful blogs.” “In time honoured tradition, you will not be happy until you have destroyed everything and hurt everyone in your wake”. “How long before this story wings its way far beyond the safe confines of the offices of The Chronicle and the Evening leader?”
The documents ends—
“I can’t see any way back from this one for you Alison”. “You would be wise to consider resigning from Flintshire County Council, before you do it any further damage”.
The last line contains two particularly spiteful slurs on my character and the letter ends with two circles and a full stop. I may not find out who produced this nasty piece of garbage but I feel that its contents have been more vindictive, destructive and spiteful than anything I put in my innocuous original blog. The author should be the one considering his or her position on the County Council. If the letter was designed to bully into silence or frighten me for Blogging, it has failed. A Blog is usually a fairly lightweight, personal informal means of communication with who ever chooses to read it. I am elected to serve a large ward and the problem of communication with everyone was always going to present a challenge. A blog is a good way of telling people what they are entitled to know about County Council affairs. The Flintshire Leader serves that purpose and thus why not a Cllr. Halford Blog? My intention was not been to sit in judgement or make accusations. I merely related a fact that involved the leader of the largest Group, the Independents; a fact that had already been published in local newspaper. There was no malice in my blog only a genuine attempt to share important matters of interest with the public. I refused to withdraw the original comments they were accurate. Since returning to County Hall, I have received much kindness and goodwill from everyone, particularly Labour members despite the fact I changed my party allegiance. I have no intention of resigning and I will continue to blog when I have the time and feel that it is in the public interest to know what is going on in County Hall. Nor is it my intention to hang around the members lounge hovering up juicy titbits. The blog will continue to be factual and transparent and as an elected councillor, I promised to be fair, transparent and accountable to my electorate. The content of my Blog relies on my judgement. I will willingly be called to account if I get it wrong but not before. Alison Halford.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.