No action taken against Wyre councillor after row over Facebook post

A row over comments made on Facebook have landed a Wyre councillor in hot water.

Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 4:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 5:02 pm
Coun Phil Orme and Dave Scrivener

Coun Phil Orme, who represents Preesall, said his words had been taken out of context after complaints were made to Wyre Council.

Fleetwood residents have called for an apology after a post by Coun Orme’s post on the Preesall and Knott End Community Facebook page.

In response to a question about the port, he said: “This is a Preesall and Knott End site. Who cares about Fleetwood?”

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But in response to the backlash, Coun Orme said: “Anyone who knows me would know I meant no slur on Fleetwood.

“I was asked a question about Preesall and what I was trying to say was, why are we discussing Fleetwood on a Preesall site?

“But I could have phrased it better.”

But residents reacted angrily and the matter was reported to Wyre Council leader David Henderson.

In an email response, Coun Henderson said: “I did speak with Coun Orme and he has posted an explanation and an apology.”

However, Dave Scrivener, who lodged the complaint, said: “Whether his words were taken out of context or not, he is a Wyre councillor and a member of the planning committee and he should not have written it.

“He should issue a proper apology.”

Coun Orme, who represents the Conservative party, also suggested some of the reaction to his comment may have been politically motivated.

Meanwhile one Fleetwood resident said posting the follow-up statement on the Preesall and Knott End page did not constitute an apology to Fleetwood residents, who are unlikely to see it.

Wyre Council officers reviewed the comment after the authority received a formal complaint.

Roy Saunders, democratic services and scrutiny manager, said the monitoring officer and the independent person for ethical standards had ruled the apology on the Facebook page was sufficient.

As a result, no further action will be taken against Coun Orme, he added.