Council reports sticky tape damage to police

Bernard Arscott leaving a meeting in January 2024
Bernard Arscott of Leigh-on-Sea Town Council has reported residents to the police for allegedly causing damage to a noticeboard [Gabriel Leroy]

A town council chief has reported residents to police for alleged criminal damage after they stuck a leaflet on a noticeboard using an “adhesive tape”.

Bernard Arscott, chairman of Leigh-on-Sea Town Council, claimed members damaged the noticeboard’s Perspex covering with their leaflet, advertising a meeting.

The Conservative councillor has since made a police report claiming criminal damage, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

In response to the police complaint, independent town councillor Carole Mulroney said: "A little bit of soap and water would take care of it. It beggars belief.”

In January, police were asked to attend a meeting of the Essex council after its clerk was allegedly subjected to abuse.

'Criminal damage'

It is understood the leaflet referred to a petition - to be presented at a council meeting on Friday - calling for town councillors who were elected in uncontested seats to resign.

Ms Mulroney said: “There is a petition online put up by the Looking After Leigh Group seeking members who were not subject to a vote and asking for them to resign and submit themselves for a proper vote.

“The meeting on Friday is the annual town electors meeting.

"It was in the programme for 26 April then it suddenly disappeared.

"Six electors can call for it and that’s what they decided to do."

Mr Arscott claimed that residents had put the notice on the board "without notification" and had damaged the outer covering by using an adhesive tape.

“They acted in less than good faith and then went on to publish a copy and attached it to the outside of town council noticeboard," he said.

"The type of adhesive tape used has damaged the Perspex covering.

"A report has been made to police and they will be investigating criminal damage.

“The actual notice is now up within the council noticeboard.”

An Essex Police spokesperson said: "We have received a report citing a criminal damage in Leigh-on-Sea.

"The information provided to us will be assessed. At this stage, no investigation has been launched."

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