OVER 20 years I have been involved in local issues in Upper Parkstone, and more widely in our towns, on issues from sustainable clean energy, keeping A&E in Poole, to high rise fire safety following Grenfell.

Locally, twice, I have taken a lead organising meetings to launch traders’ associations for Ashley Road, leading on to Christmas lights and Christmas events.

And many more campaigns from service road access to sports facilities on Branksome Rec, to improve our home area.

I have then recently been very shocked to receive on a mailing list an encrypted email headed CONFIDENTIAL, telling Cllrs and senior officers in BCP that Jeff Williams was “in Poole council for some considerable time” black-listed.

I was designated a “vexatious correspondent”.

That then is beyond extraordinary when the last Poole council leader invited me in to a one-to-one meeting to discuss local issues. And for all I know I got on well with the previous leader, and other councillors over many years.

The whole issue is then astonishing.

And not just targeting myself but in that the whole foundation of democratic freedom of speech.

The right of all of us to express views, in public, without interference from “public authorities”.

That is what the law says. Human Rights Act, 1998, Article 10, Freedom on Speech.

And even more mind numbing, how on earth do we run any democracy without “vexation”?

Dispute, controversy, enmity, rows, and much more.

Not a week goes by and there is not a thousand major rows in councils up and down the land.

The councillor who sent out the email might then now like to explain themselves.

A clandestine, covert attack on any campaigner, is an attack on all campaigners.

An attack on the foundations of our living breathing democracy.


Jubilee Road, Poole