Councillor denies allegations over “newcomers” jibe

Plant tubs in Benwick.

Plant tubs in Benwick. - Credit: Archant

A ROW over the painting of community flower tubs in Benwick has landed a parish councillor in front of Fenland District Council’s conduct committee next week.

Benwick war memorial.

Benwick war memorial. - Credit: Archant

Councillor Lyn Keppel-Spoor is facing a complaint from the Benwick in Bloom committee over comments she is alleged to have made at a parish council meeting.

Benwick in Bloom alleges that when the painting of flower tubs was discussed, Cllr Keppel-Spoor complained that “newcomers come into the village and start taking over.”

Treasurer of Benwick in Bloom, Mrs Gobie says her group was prevented from painting a flower tub near the village sign by a notice erected by Cllr Keppel-Spoor.

The councillor - who maintains flower tubs on the war memorial - alleges that Benwick in Bloom members painted a flower tub next to the memorial without consulting the council, and she had objected to that.

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Lodging the formal complaint with the district council, Valerie Gobie from Benwick in Bloom said: “The comment was derogatory to any progress by any group within the village.”

Saying that members of Benwick in Bloom have an average residency length of five years, Mrs Gobie said the councillor had “overstepped the line.”

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Mrs Gobie added: “As a group we request an apology from Cllr Keppel-Spoor at the next parish council meeting, and in future hope she works with us in the interest of the village.”

Denying that she had complained about village newcomers, Cllr Keppel-Spoor wrote a letter describing herself as “a newcomer of 28 years standing.”

She added: “ I do not feel that I should apologise for something I have not said.”

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