Berwick Town Council has spent £1,511 threatening a Councillor over a facebook page exposing the alleged misuse of Council powers and funds, it is claimed.
The page focused on the perceived turmoil and confusion caused by the Councils’ decision to take over the management of Berwick’s Portas Pilot, a project focused on regenerating Berwick Town Centre with £100,000 of taxpayers’ money, as well as other uses of the Town Clerks’ delegated power to award council money to projects and subcontractors.
After raising questions around these decisions on the facebook page the whistle-blower received an email and later a letter demanding that the posts be taken down. These legal steps allegedly cost the taxpayer £1,511.
Questions have been asked over the legality of the launching of these legal proceedings as it is alleged that the decision was made outside of a properly constituted Council meeting, by four members of the Council Finance Committee, without the apparent knowledge of the Town Clerk.
Taxpayers’ could question whether raising legal actions against a member of the public attempting to scrutinise controversial uses of taxpayers money is the best way to spend scarce resources. A Council spending taxpayers’ money should not reject taxpayers’ scrutiny.