Council leader Melton unrepentant over e-mail ‘F’ word exchange with former night club boss

FENLAND Council Leader Alan Melton faced a call for his resignation today after emailing a Chatteris businessman in which he used the F word.

Viv Salisbury, 69, is battling Fenland Council to resolve a dispute over the former Palace nightclub in Chatteris. The club closed last August amidst an acrimonious row between Mr Salisbury, the landlord and Fenland Council.

Since then Mr Salisbury has fought an unresolved court case to get his licence restored and for the council to agree they were in the wrong in closing him down.

“I contacted Alan Melton because no department at Fenland Hall seemed able to deal with the issue and I thought that he at least might be able to get something done,” said Mr Salisbury.

“This issue has been in front of the licensing committee, the housing officer, the legal department, the 3 Cs team and yet all have failed to deal with it.

“It seemed to be the only department left was the tea ladies but since they’ve gone I thought I would ask Councillor Melton to help.”

Mr Salisbury asked his part time secretary, Jenny Mandley, to email Cllr Melton asking him help resolve the issues.

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In her first email she said Mr Salisbury would value a meeting with the licensing committee “to determine the facts of this case”.

However Cllr Melton replied: “Hi Jenny, I am aware that you have sent to me correspondence on behalf of Viv Salisbury. Please do not send any more from this address to my address. The word delete comes to mind!”

In response Jenny replied: “If you have not already deleted this email, I would just like to say that I am merely letting Viv use my email. Your email address is on your council website. The word ‘delete’ should not enter into emails from people who have voted for you.

“Hope you had a good holiday, Jenny”.

Cllr Melton then replied: “Hi Jenny, I do not want to get into debate with Viv and because I value your friendship I don’t want you involved in the middle.

“It’s got f*** all as to who voted for me, Alan.”

Later Cllr Melton responded: “I am sick of Viv. He has threatened me, insulted my wife, and ignored the advice I have given him in good faith. End of subject.”

Today Mr Salisbury said he planned to complain to the standards committee, to the Conservative Association and to MP Steve Barclay about Cllr Melton.

“I think Alan should resign. He’s not a fit and proper person to hold that position. “He’s saying that once he’s elected he can go and do what he likes and doesn’t give a fig what the voters say.

“All I want is for a meeting to resolve the issues around the Palace and I wrongly thought Cllr Melton could help.”

Cllr Melton agreed he had sent the emails but said it came after a lengthy and exhaustive exchange with Mr Salisbury.

“I have had enough of him, really, really had enough,” said Cllr Melton. “I gave him loads of advice and he chose to ignore it.

“It’s gone on for two years and recently he tried to take Fenland Council to court over one of his spurious claims and lost. Fenland won �4,500 costs and I have told our officers to pursue it. “

Cllr Melton said he “didn’t care” what Mr Salisbury thought of him or what he did next.

“I don’t dislike anyone and I don’t do grudges but he is one bloke I cannot tolerate any longer” said Cllr Melton. “When I see him up the street I walk the other side to avoid him.”

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