Member of public ‘treated with contempt’

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A LEADING councillor has been accused of showing ‘contempt’ to a member of the public.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council cabinet member, Conservative Sara Mildmay-White’s responses to regular questioner Simon Harding at Tuesday’s council meeting have been called ‘contempt’ by independent councillor Paul Hopfensperger. Another public questioner, Tom Murray, praised his own treatment but complained councillors showed Mr Harding ‘derision’.

Council leader John Griffiths gave verbal answers to Mr Harding but when questions were referred to Cllr Mildmay-White, she promised Mr Harding written answers.

In his complaint to council chief executive Geoff Rivers, Cllr Hopfensperger wrote: “Simon’s questions were treated with contempt, a lot of huffing and puffing and rolling upwards of eyes whenever he spoke.”

Mr Murray wrote that he was ‘astonished’ by her lack of answers –“I thought the idea of public questions was to get public answers.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Sometimes, to avoid any doubt, a councillor may feel it more appropriate to send a considered and detailed written response.”

Cllr Mildmay-White was not available for comment yesterday.