At the beginning of the Parish Council meeting on Monday 27th November, Chairman Tim Concannon delivered the following speech.
"I understand that there are differing views about what is best for the Village. We are blessed in that there are so very many people who care deeply enough about our community to want to do what is good for the village as they see it.
However, in their enthusiasm, some people forget that there are other views than their own.
I am concerned that, in this age of twitter and trolling, people do not always think about the effect that their principled, but thoughtless words may have on their recipients.
Over the past few years we have had, as a community, some difficult and sensitive issues to deal with. We have some more on the horizon.
I want to lay down this marker.
Just because someone does not agree with your analysis, that does not make them a Bad Person. Still less does it make them a part of some un-named conspiracy to override serious concerns about what is best for the Village.
Since I have taken over as Chair I have become aware of some intemperate correspondence, which, on one view, is potentially libellous. That is not the route I want us to follow. We are one community, and we should be adult enough to accept that. We ought to be able to accept principled disagreement.
Speaking personally, I have a thick skin and broad shoulders. Professionally I am totally unphased by ad hominem attacks. Others are not.
There are very many people in this village who give their time, their expertise and their souls for the good of the village, without expectation of reward. Please do not disrespect them or dismiss them as some “establishment conspiracy”.
As a Parish Council, we are trying to do the best that we can for the village as a whole. Please respect that, or else step up to the plate and take your share of the brickbats.
Correspondents will note that my BPC e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) now carries the reminder that it is subject to s1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2001, which means that if ANYONE wants to criticise, they can do so, but they should be aware that that criticism can be made public on request.
I am, however, available on a confidential basis on my mobile number of 07588 362196, but please be assured that if you DO want to approach me confidentially I reserve the right to point out that some matters are better discussed in public and terminate the conversation."
Buriton Parish Council