Council leader under fire for using word ‘tosser’ in front of young students at democracy event

16:01 02 December 2012

Alan Melton

Alan Melton

Archant

RED-FACED council leader Alan Melton has come under fire for using the word “tosser” in front of a group of young students at a democracy event.

Supermarket chat

THE young complainant also raised concerns that Cllr Melton was asking students for their views on the Whittlesey planning battle, with Tesco and Sainsbury’s both hoping to build stores in the town.

The complainant said asking students about the issue - which has become known as supermarket-gate - was “out of place”.

Cllr Melton said he was asked a question about the proposed developments by a student from Sir Harry Smith Community College, in Whittlesey.

He said: “Of course I did not offer a point of view, but it was fascinating to listen to the student, who was clearly engaged with what is a significant local issue, which in my opinion is what Democracy Day is all about.”

The Fenland District Council chief is set to go before the council’s conduct committee after a student complained about his colourful language.

The swear-jar slip-up occurred on October 19, when the council welcomed schoolchildren from across Fenland to a “Democracy Day”.

The event was held to help youngsters understand the democratic process - but Cllr Melton’s faux-pas happened during a special “political speed dating video”.

The complainant said: “I had a few people come to me about Cllr Melton’s choice of words.

“For example, referring to the guy on the political speed dating video as a tosser in front of some of the younger children.”

In a letter to Alan Pain, the council’s monitoring officer, Cllr Melton said he was “shocked and disappointed” at the complaint.

Cllr Melton said: “With reference to the word tosser, I did indeed use the word in response to a male student who used the word to describe a section of the video.

“He used the word and I incredulously repeated it. I did find the comment rather amusing!

“Incidentally, this is the same student who referred to Peterborough United as playing like sh*t! Which as a supporter I rather agreed with.”

Cllr Melton said he had been involved with children’s organisations all his life and had never before been the subject of a complaint.

He said: “As a responsible parent, I know how offensive it is for others to use offensive language in front of children and students.

“Perhaps I shouldn’t have repeated the word, but no offence was intended and if it did I sincerely regret it.”

The conduct committee will consider the complaint against Cllr Melton on December 12.

3 comments

  • this seems like alan at his best

    Report this comment

    gander

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Citizen - you beat me to it!!!

    Report this comment

    Mr Grumpy

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Funny.... it's not the first time I've heard that word and "Melton" used in the same sentence!

    Report this comment

    Rotciv

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

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