A petition launched in Malmesbury calling for the resignation of town and Wiltshire councillor Simon Killane has been signed by nearly 150 people.

Coun Killane, who is chairman of the Neighbourhood Steering Group, Wiltshire Council’s scrutiny committee, and is vice chair of the Malmesbury Area Board, has contacted police to say he feels ‘abused’ and ‘intimidated’ by what he calls a ‘hate campaign’.

Nearly 150 members of the community have signed the online petition, set up by Chris Exton, at Malmesbury Vics Football Club, with many complainants claiming he has been ‘rude,’ or ‘arrogant’.

In an email to fellow councillors, and the press, Coun Killane said: “I am really concerned about what is happening currently in Malmesbury and that not only is the council being brought into disrepute, but that I am now receiving abuse and threats, hence I am copying in the police to this email.

“Since I have been supporting Guy Franklin for the council position (for last week’s by-election), I have had to put up with constant abuse from a certain faction in the town.”

Prominent community member Alison Cross-Jones, who said she was speaking as an individual rather than in her role with community support charity HEALS, said: “I think personally he should step down or take a year out and spend that year reviewing how to rebuild his reptutation; if he genuinely has a love for the community then he needs to take some time out.

“This is not a hate campaign, this is people screaming at him that he has got it wrong.”

Coun Killane was contacted for comment but was not available.

The town council by-election was won by former RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant, who beat Mr Franklin, an engineer, by 590 votes to 410.