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

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.

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.

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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.

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