Uttlesford District Council resolves for stronger action to halt harassment and intimidation of those in public office

In light of intimidation against public servants, R4U has raised an anti-harassment motion at Uttlesford District Council that was approved by the vast majority of councillors. The motion resolved the council to take more affirmative action to protect those that serve the public, including more proactive working with the police.

Petrina Lees (R4U) Petrina Lees (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Petrina Lees, who is the Uttlesford District Council Leader, said “We have all seen a polarisation and coarsening of public discourse over the last few years, often fuelled by social media. We believe that the spreading of falsehood and threats online exist on a continuum with physical attacks. Nationally the government has been introducing new regulations for social media firms. At a local level a number of councillors have faced harassment, defamation, and intimidation – even in the Council Chamber; and indeed one of our own councillors suffered an assault after a council Planning Committee meeting.”

R4U’s Cllr Lees continued “To try to curb this, R4U raised an anti-harassment motion at UDC to resolve the council to take stronger action, including with the police, to protect staff and elected representatives. The motion, which was approved, was seconded by the Conservatives, and supported by the Independents and Liberal Democrats; it was regrettable that the Green councillors didn’t give their support. It is positive that the resolution passed by a huge majority, but disappointing that these issues need to be considered at all.”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties. R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In the May 2019 R4U took majority control of UDC by gaining two-thirds of the seats. Since then it has set about re-engineering the now award-winning council operates, rebuilding the finances and fixing how planning is done. In 2021 the party won half the Essex County Council seats in Uttlesford district.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.