When I first started the Bugle three years ago I never imagined that in publishing fact based information instead of gossip and speculation that I would be accused of bullying, harassment and infringing an elected officials human rights – but it has happened.

I began a series of articles about a small East Yorkshire Village near to the village of Hayton and a large garden centre by stating that in the interests of accuracy, balance and to avoid legal proceedings I would forward any story to anyone who was mentioned. This I have been doing.

When I sent the story about the Village Hall rent increases to Cllr Victor Lambert who is chairman and temporary clerk of a Parish Council in a small village near a large garden centre he replied with a quote from one of his old mates who used to say ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’.

This was actually a Mark Twain quote but let’s move on. The irony is that in letting him preview the stories and asking for comments I was doing everything possible to tell the truth.

The chairman attached a document to his e mail which did not include an address or the name of the author. It was in effect an anonymous letter written in the third person which stated:

  1. Mr Victor Lambert does not give permission or authority to use his name within your proposed stories regarding and entitled S************
  2. Your numerous and ongoing extensive communications and content constitute a form of bullying and harassment. In addition this could be considered to be an infringement of Mr Lamberts human rights. It is politely requested that you discontinue forthwith in relation to Mr Lambert.
  3.  “it is inappropriate to comment or provide evidence or opinion whilst independent investigations or ongoing.
  4.  “Mr Lambert strongly protects his business reputation and image rights”.


It would seem that *hi********p* Councillors are free to make statements in a public meeting whilst investigations are ongoing but are not happy for me to ask questions, seek clarification or challenge those statements.

In addition to being chairman of the council Cllr Lambert regards himself as temporary clerk. I have found no council minute proposing that he take on this role.

Because Cllr Lambert is both chair and clerk I am now unable to submit a FOI request or seek clarity about matters raised at public meetings. A clear breach of two of the Seven Principles of Public Life also known as the Nolan Principles:

1.4 Accountability
Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
1.5 Openness
Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.

The ‘Shiptonthorpe Forward Together’ Election leaflet which promoted all the new councillors elected in May stated “values include a transparent approach to council priorities.” You can decide for yourself whether they are delivering on this promise.

NB: As requested this story was NOT forwarded to Cllr Victor Lambert for comment.
You can download a copy of the anonymous document by clicking the link under comments.


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