Town council customer services officer tells town councillor to ‘stop your political shenanigans’ on town council’s Facebook page

PUBLISHED: 14:44 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:44 07 October 2020

Independent councillor Dave Patrick (attending last Saturday's protest against aWisbech incinerator) and Tina Gambell, the town council customers services officer. She has apologised to Cllr Patrick for rebuking him for a social media comment on the town council Facebook page

Independent councillor Dave Patrick (attending last Saturday's protest against aWisbech incinerator) and Tina Gambell, the town council customers services officer. She has apologised to Cllr Patrick for rebuking him for a social media comment on the town council Facebook page

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A council’s customer services officer apologised for telling an independent councillor to ‘stop your political shenanigans’ when he wrote on the council’s Facebook page.

Independent councillor Dave Patrick (attending last Saturday's protest against aWisbech incinerator) and Tina Gambell, the town council customers services officer. She has apologised to Cllr Patrick for rebuking him for a social media comment on the town council Facebook pageIndependent councillor Dave Patrick (attending last Saturday's protest against aWisbech incinerator) and Tina Gambell, the town council customers services officer. She has apologised to Cllr Patrick for rebuking him for a social media comment on the town council Facebook page

Tina Gambell, a former Parliamentary assistant to MP Steve Barclay, told Cllr Dave Patrick: “Please stop your political shenanigans. So tiring, Tina”.

Ms Gambell posted the comment to Wisbech Town Facebook page during an exchange of views over local campaigns to halt a £300m energy from waste incinerator being built locally.

Cllr Patrick questioned what a town council working party was doing to promote opposition to the incinerator.

One resident posted: “What exactly is Wisbech Town Council doing to raise awareness until the plans are submitted.”

Tina Gambell who has apologised to a Wisbech town councillorTina Gambell who has apologised to a Wisbech town councillor

Cllr Patrick wrote underneath ‘”um nothing” before Ms Gambell, customer services and liaison officer, added her (now removed) comment.

“I believe this behaviour by an employee of the council towards a councillor is totally inappropriate, political, and outside the remit of her employed position and also disrespectful,” Cllr Patrick told town clerk Terry Jordan.

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“I consider that it is not appropriate for an employee to make such comments and ask that this be investigated in full and that disciplinary action be taken.

“I consider It is not appropriate for employees of the council to comment on any comment made by councillors in this manner.”

Ms Gambell has emailed Cllr Patrick to apologise.

She wrote: “In response to your ‘um nothing’ I became defensive of the work that has actually been taking place behind the scenes and asked you politely to stop your political shenanigans.”

“This statement was not a condemnation of you as a person or as a councillor… it was merely reflecting my views that your comments were deliberately political and disparaging with a view to damaging the public’s perception of what Wisbech Town Council is, does, and strives to achieve within Wisbech.”

And she added: “Shenanigans can be translated into a number of ways, some insulting like wickedness and underhand, and others more general, such as mischievous. “My reference to the word was to highlight my exasperation into your political mischievousness which extends the bridge that needs rebuilding.”

She said that she “should have sent my comment to you in a direct message or by email rather in response online in the public forum and for that I apologise.

Cllr Patrick said he was still waiting for a response from the town clerk.


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