Official complaint filed against Malmesbury town and Wiltshire councillor
Updated 4:14pm Friday 9th May 2014 in By Victoria Latchman
Town and Wiltshire councillor Simon Killane could find himself under scrutiny following the launch of an official complaint against him by a fellow town councillor.
Coun Julie Exton said she decided to submit an official complaint to the Monitoring Officer at Wiltshire Council after what she says was an abusive phone call from Coun Killane on Good Friday.
She says Coun Killane demanded she support him publically on social networking site Facebook or he would not support any grant applications for Malmesbury Vics Football Club, where Coun Exton is treasurer.
This comes as an online petition calling for Coun Killane's resignation reaches nearly 150, while a hard copy version handed out in local pubs and door-to-door has reached the same figure, according to Coun Exton’s son Chris who set up the petition after the alleged phone call.
Coun Killane, who chairs Wiltshire Council’s scrutiny committee and is vice chair of Malmesbury Area Board, described the petition set up calling for his resignation as a ‘hate campaign’ against him.
In an email he wrote: “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.”
But former town councillor Brian Slade, who now lives in Royal Wootton Bassett, said: “The Malmesbury petition is absolutely nothing to do with his support for Guy Franklin in the recent town election but all to do with his rude, arrogant, self-righteous manner he shows to anyone who dares to hold a differing view than his on any matter.”
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 today: “Whether Chris’s motivation for starting the petition was ‘hate’ the majority of people who signed it have nothing to do with the Exton family or the football club.
“The majority of people have given a sensible argument and say this is about a councillor who isn’t prepared to listen to other people’s point of view.”
And petitioner Rebecca Deacon said today: "I find his behaviour totally unacceptable for a man in his position.
"On the occasions that I have had dealings with Mr Killane he has become verbally aggressive and resorted to name calling when I have disagreed with him.
"I'm sure that I'm not alone in saying that this isn't the kind of behaviour that should be displayed by a counsellor.
Coun Exton said: “I think it’s very true what people are saying in the petition.
“It’s taking people a lot of courage to come forward and say how they feel.”
Coun Killane was not available for comment but a Wiltshire Council spokesman said today: "We can confirm that a complaint has been received and will be dealt with in accordance with the council’s arrangements."
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