Letter to Editor: Councillor calls for stop to disgusting comments on social media

Politics / Wed 20th Apr 2022 at 08:49am

CHURCH Langley councillor Nicky Purse has asked for the following letter to be published. Cllr Purse has written this (partly) as a follow up to a Bush Fair councillor Eugenie Harvey standing down.


Dear Editor,

Yes we sign up to stand as ward councillors to represent the community of Harlow, yes there are long meetings, endless amounts of notes and policies to read.

I fully appreciate Eugenie Harvey reason for standing down as a mother myself and working full-time its not easy to manage.

But what we didn’t sign up for the new wave of disgusting behaviour we now see on social media.

Why do I have to keep explaining to my family, especially my younger members of my family, why i’m called scum, traitor, tories lies.

To have family come and ask why is there a picture of you on social media with traitor or scum across it?

Now this could be the reason why there is so few women in politics when see such behaviour. It takes its toll on anyone but more so on mums who want to do their best for their children and family. 

I want to wish Eugenie Harvey all the best in her future and in the very short time we work together: I hear you.

We have a new wave of supporters and political candidates who believe it acceptable to use social media as a platform for behaviour which can only be called bullying.

We stand to be a voice of our community and for people.

One thing I stand by is my principles. We have the right to vote and I would never bully anyone just because of their political views.


Cllr Nicky Purse 

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37 Comments for Letter to Editor: Councillor calls for stop to disgusting comments on social media:

james nicholson
2022-04-20 13:20:08

With all due respect to Cllr Purse, when the tories stop lying then we will stop calling out "tory lies", if she doesn't like it may I suggest she join or start a different party that does not lie repeatedly to the electorate

Marie Compton
2022-04-20 13:43:59

James Nicholson, you might like to remind Labour about lies. There was the not insignificant matter of former Labour PM , Tony Blair lying to Parliament and the nation on weapons of mass destruction in order to lead us into a disastrous and bloody war in Iraq. Today I received through my door a paper from Harlow Labour where they promise to give all working people a real pay rise. We all know that Harlow Council, of whichever party, cannot give everybody a pay rise. It is a blatant lie. They also claim that the Conservative administration has created a black hole in the Council’s finances of £900,000 with no evidence, because that is another complete lie. Maybe they asked Dianne Abbott to do the numbers.

Jamie Henderson
2022-04-20 13:48:58

I think the Labour candidate for Great Parndon (including Katherines) should be prepared for some expletives when they find out that it was who allowed the Amazon warehouse to be built in their gardens without following due planning procedure and public consultation when he was Head of the Planning Committee.

James Griggs
2022-04-20 14:05:21

Calling out blatant lies is totally acceptable. Personal abuse is certainly not. Cllr Purse could help stop it by having a word with her party machine and stop the pedalling of lies in the first place. Whilst we’re on the subject of being honest and playing fairly, perhaps Clllr Purse would like to take the opportunity to call out the blatant use of false identities on Your Harlow to continually spread misinformation and falsehoods. I’m sure Marie Compton will agree with me, oh hang on though….

Neil Warner-Baker
2022-04-20 14:10:55

I agree with you Mr Henderson Planning Commitee cllrs should be held to account. What about we start with the cllrs that have given planning approval for a massive bridge/roundabout structure alongside the river Stort in our town Park that is currently a wildlife sanctuary...cllr Purse, cllr Livings,cllr Steer, cllr Leppard, and cllr Garnett. All Conservatives.. same happened with the East Herts meeting...Only Conservatives voted it through..all the other parties, Lib, independent and Labour abstained or voted against due to the compelling enviromental concerns..

Jake Shepherd
2022-04-20 14:25:58

The Council is a living wage employer (and I think this extends to HTS), so actually those pledges about wages do matter and have been delivered on (and a Labour council will deliver again).

Marie Compton
2022-04-20 14:37:28

Jake Shepherd, please read the text of your own rag. QUOTE: ‘A New Deal for Working People’ ‘Labour will give people a real pay rise….’ By any reasonable interpretation of the English language that means everybody working. It does not specify Harlow Council employees or staff of HTS. That must be apparent even to you. Therefore, as it completely untrue, ergo a lie, my question remains unanswered. By the way, any new petitions to abolish the Army Cadets?

Marie Compton
2022-04-20 14:43:28

Mr Griggs, I take exception to your baseless inferences. I have stated before on YH in reply to your so-called leader that I am a Harlow resident since 1962, having moved from Islington, London. I live in Netteswell ward. I am passionate about this town and am angry how our town centre has been neglected and declined under Labour’s watch. You and your fellow Momentum cohorts clearly are not prepared for free expression and criticism. Well, you should get used to it. It is the essence of a democratic free society.

james nicholson
2022-04-20 14:47:19

I would like to point out to you all right now that I am neither a Labour supporter or a supporter of the Conservatives. They have both proven themselves to be totally untrustworthy not just on a nationwide level but also at a local level. And in respect to your comment about lies in a Labour leaflet, I see the same lies in a conservative leaflet. Both parties are spreading the usual lies and promises before elections. Perhaps it is time to vote in the Green party and independents to get rid of the stagnant two party yo-yoing with no actual visible benefits for the local electorate.

Carol Wilkinson
2022-04-20 14:53:12

James Nicholson. You make a good point. The two party system is an irrelevance to local government. It is about the efficient provision of services important to residents. We are fortunate this time that we have Green candidates standing in 10 wards. My vote is definitely going to the Greens. We need to break the mould.

James Griggs
2022-04-20 14:55:48

Marie Compton, I too am a Netteswell resident. As such you will have received a card with my contact details upon it. Feel free to contact me and I will happily meet you to apologise in person for any offence caused.

James Griggs
2022-04-20 14:59:04

Marie Compton, I too am a Netteswell resident. Feel free to contact me and I will happily meet you to apologise in person for any offence caused. [email protected]

2022-04-20 15:07:13

I have watched a number of recorded council debates on YH and come to the conclusion that the Conservatives have far more polished speakers and run rings around Labour. It is like a pantomime. We deserve better and an effective alternative. I too will support the Greens in May.

Marie Compton
2022-04-20 15:09:17

James Griggs. Apology accepted. Thank you.

James Griggs
2022-04-20 15:30:22

Marie, my previous comment is not an apology. It was an offer to meet you personally and deliver one. Your call!

james nicholson
2022-04-20 15:31:12

I would love to see greens and similar parties become more important in the near future, not just on a local level but also a National level, if we want actual change in the world let's vote them all out next chance we get and vote in greens and independents in General Elections too, it happened with Labour in the early 20th Century, let's have another run at getting it right this time

Marie Compton
2022-04-20 16:04:47

James Griggs, my misunderstanding. Why do you think I would wish to meet with you? When I received the paper ‘Your Rose’ earlier I read it and will put it for recycling. I have absolutely no interest in your party or candidates. I am perfectly content with my current Netteswell councillor, Colleen Morrison, who works very hard for the ward residents and is most approachable.

James Griggs
2022-04-20 16:36:41

Marie Compton, you clearly didn’t read it very well as you haven’t even managed to get the title right. Our fates are in the hands of the residents of Netteswell. Kind regards James PS, I’m pleased to hear you are recycling.

Marie Compton
2022-04-20 16:45:09

My apologies. “Harlow Rose” . You will recall above, that I quoted from it completely correctly with regard to the empty promise to give everybody a real pay rise, to which Jake Shepherd made a rather pathetic reply in a misguided attempt to appear intelligent. He clearly should pursue other avenues. Anyway, we can part in agreement on the point that the matter will rest with the good residents of Netteswell. What does concern me is the low turnout in local elections. Personally, I would not be surprised if the Green Party does well. They seem to be garnering support across the town. I have several friends who are voting for them.

Tony Durcan
2022-04-20 17:42:09

everyone is missing the point of the letter which is about abuse of community leaders. It’s simply unacceptable that regardless of politics it appears ok to be offensive. This social media platform has often taken down offensive comments when reported. The council is governed by the Nolan principles but sadly many ignore them. The problem we have is currently those who should set the examples of reasonable behaviour chose the opposite and cheer on the bullies. Even on this posting there are the ones who are just horrible people whose only pleasure under the disguise of politics is to just be nasty. People hide behind mask and false names . So I support my fellow councillor and call out the thugs and bully boys. I hear you as well. The rot starts at the top. The message is simple you can criticises , you can complain ,you can spin but let’s not stay in the gutter. Harlow expects better.

Marie Compton
2022-04-20 18:07:20

For once, I actually agree with Cllr Durcan. I am wary of the benchmark standard of ‘offensive’ as that is highly subjective. I prefer ‘abusive’, which is objectively clearer. However, I will not argue the toss. Cllr Durcan’s message and intention is clear. All councillors are elected representatives and can be criticised but should not be subjected to abuse in the exercise of their functions.

2022-04-20 19:18:47

If we are talking about Facebook, Clllr Purse has a few options open to her. 1. Report to group admin. 2. Go above admin and report to Facebook direct. If posts threaten harm or violence, report to the police. Unfortunately, Cllr Purse, as portfolio holder for the environment was instrumental in approving a certain highly unpopular road development, which will not only deepen the rift between Labour and Conservatives, but potentially pave the way for a new kid on the block, namely more Green representation.

William Shakespeare
2022-04-20 19:42:08

The grammar and spelling in that letter are appalling.

Mike Barnett
2022-04-20 20:51:55

Irene, you make a good point. Both Labour and Tories are highly compromised through the Stort Crossing: the Tories voted for it, but Labour signed up for it without any public consultation and supported it for 5 years. They are both engaged in a pathetic blame game in which they are both guilty. Time for a new kid on the block. Time for us to vote for the Greens.

james nicholson
2022-04-21 01:57:52

I agree with Marie, there is a fine line between offensive language and threatening language. And I also will agree with Cllr Durcan that there are people who hide behind false names and abuse political party members for no real reason other than to troll. Then there are the valid complaints worded with heated tempers. I think the thing that is forgotten is that people have emotions that emerge when frustrated. And then there are a few whose pleasure in life is being abusive or threatening. These are the people who are the real threat, with that said actual abusive and threatening behaviour should be taken seriously.

The A414 Sidekick
2022-04-21 05:25:32

William Shakespeare... sadly many children (30-40%), left and are Still LEAVING school not having been taught to read and write. It would be very short-sighted if only the 60-70% who lucked out in their education represented us, an effective illiterate underclass. We should value Councillors Purse & Harvey on the exection of their duty, not if they cross their 't's and dot their 'i's.

2022-04-21 06:37:33

If the tories stopped to consider the lies being told locally and nationally by their party are the cause of such commentary they may think twice about telling them. Personal abuse is not acceptable but calling out their lies is required each and every time

Mark Thompson
2022-04-21 07:35:24

As this thread has shown, both the main two parties have lied. They are as guilty as each other. Let’s vote for change and support the Green Party.

Very Fed Up
2022-04-21 07:54:21

Why can we not have public hustings ahead of the local elections? We have them for a General Election. It would enable the party leaders to set out their plans for Harlow and enable the public to scrutinise and field questions. Surely, this would be more open and democratic and encourage public engagement.

Kim Oconnor
2022-04-21 08:56:53

Every day I read more and more green belt built on up and down this country, you party s learn nothing. You all talk of environment, but all your doing is build build build, that's one thing Boris hasn't lied about, but only one. This past year has been a hard fight to save our river stort here in Harlow, by a 4 lane road going right through this beautiful river, being connected by housing estates, that will be built on our wet lands. So let's talk environment , right from the word go, you councils never wanted to talk of this destruction, you never wanted to here our comments, they were removed, and never answered questions, ignored by the very people that put you all there, the public, and the very people that pay you to sit there. I'm against the nastyness of comments , I agree it doesn't get you any where. You can have a debate, with out this. I'm a very direct person, never nasty, but direct, I tell it as it is. And I'm proud to know be a member of the green party, for Harlow, my first meeting was last night. I done the right thing, all theses people are very down to earth and truly care for public opinions, things that matter , things important to people. I'm fed up with the lies I've heard from both of theses party's. Conservatives have never wanted to hear us. So don't be surprised that people are angry.

Kim Oconnor
2022-04-21 09:05:00

Few spelling mistakes, but my point of view clearly is there.

2022-04-21 09:19:39

Kim O’Connor, you are very clear. It is great to see the Green Party standing. Many people are fed up with the Labour/Tory blame game and deceit from both. I will be voting Green for the first time. If enough of us do, we might get some real change as opposed to all the hype and misleading promises from the two main parties.

Tony Durcan
2022-04-21 09:50:43

It’s a real shame that others have hijacked this important message just to make some pathetic political point. How can we encourage others to become community leaders if we don’t address this issue face on. We need to own this Get off your back wagon and help change attitude

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-21 20:59:32

The problem is, members of both main Parties are ignoring the views of residents, not just in Harlow but across the country. The destruction of the Green Belt is happening across the South East Of England, from at least Amersham to Thanet in Kent, where Councils are now re-thinking the house building numbers required by Government. You can build new, larger hospitals, but without long term funding you cannot get sufficient staff. Much is said about the use of buses to mitigate increases in car use, but we all know that bus routes have been cut for years and many places simply never had them in the first place. We need as a country to increase food production, but we are tearing up land used for food production. People are getting angrier and of course it is easy to ping off an email or use other means to abuse those who control Councils and the Government. In this Case Nicky, purports to have green credentials but supports the trashing of the Stort Valley, the two simply don't go together.

Tony Durcan
2022-04-22 14:41:39

There is a time and place to debate housing etc but this isn’t that time or place. We’re ignoring the real story about the offensive and abusive way community leaders are valued in this town. Why can we just hear and listen to these concerns. Why can’t we own and deal with this issue. It was brave for Nicky to speak out and I hope everyone has the power to understand and react. Why can’t we just be nicer to each other. If re-elected I hope Nicky can bring a motion to full council. If am re elected I would be happy to second any motion. If none of the above I hope someone will take this forward and make a difference.

Marie Compton
2022-04-22 21:53:17

I rarely agree with Cllr Durcan, but on this issue of common standards and decency, we are on the same page.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-23 13:41:14

I am afraid Tony that having seen the antics of many Councillors in the Council Chamber including yourself, it is no wonder that residents feel they can join in the bun-fight. As so called community leaders you should all lead by example. I left Harlow Council in 2000, it had been no better in the three decades before then so nothing changes only which side has been in control and the fact that the internet has arrived so people can abuse others without much fear. In my day, you had to come along to an Area Committee meeting, when hundreds of people would turn up around the town. People did not like what they saw then, they still don't.

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