Harlow councillors agree to “debate not hate”

News / Sat 25th Feb 2023 at 11:33am

JUST before Harlow Council’s budget debate last night (23 February 2023), all councillors present at the meeting unanimously agreed to the following motion on Debate Not Hate:

“To be elected is a privilege and a responsibility. Unfortunately, increasing levels of abuse and intimidation have had a negative impact on politicians and democracy at local and national levels. Disagreement and constructive challenge are healthy: the sort of abuse that’s intended to silence the democratic voice and to deter people from entering politics at any level is not.

I call upon Harlow Council to:

1.    Address the impacts of abuse on councillors’ mental health;

2.    Work with LGA to raise awareness of available options and good practice;

3.    Remind councillors of the Code of Conduct to ensure that their behaviour to each other and to staff members is respectful and courteous;

4.    Ensure that councillors and officers are aware of available support and that they are encouraged to request support when needed, without stigma.”

The motion was proposed by Councillor Kay Morrison and seconded by Councillor Lanie Shears. Several councillors from both sides of the chamber spoke passionately giving their support to the motion.

Debate Not Hate is a national campaign run by the Local Government Association which aims to raise public awareness of the role of councillors in their communities, encourage healthy debate and improve the responses and support for local politicians facing abuse and intimidation.

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6 Comments for Harlow councillors agree to “debate not hate”:

2023-02-25 16:53:49

Just a pitty they did not mention or include 'only speaking the truth'.

Luke Burton
2023-02-26 09:10:00

Sometimes there just isn't a debate to be had. Let's take potholes - we don't need a debate around that to determine whether they are a bad thing or need fixing. We don't need a debate around whether mould in people's homes are a bad thing or need fixing. People just want concrete action on this very basic, non-controversial issues but we just don't see that happening. Sick and tired of elected officials from the Local Government to National Government claiming expenses off the back of taxpayer's with absolutely nothing to show for it.

John Garrad
2023-02-26 12:48:06

A main debate on ULEZ is urgently required as people with low income cant afford £12 50 a day some parts of essex are inside the m25 are the local councils going to let the mayor of London if it goes through collect money not in London

David Forman
2023-02-26 14:43:29

I hope this is not an attempt to stifle free speech. We know how much the Labour luvvies and Momentum in particular want to muzzle the press in this country. Also, I hope this restriction on free speech is not inspired by the legitimate criticisms aimed at black Tory councillor Stacy Seales arising from her recent appalling letter that could have have been better written by a 10 year old child.

James Leppard
2023-02-26 18:31:12

David, I agree 100%. Free speech is sacrosanct. Taking offence at something is highly subjective and therefore dangerous as it can constitute censorship. This motion did not use the word ‘offensive’ otherwise I would been compelled to vote against.

2023-02-26 18:39:57

David Forman. I do hope that when you comment on future articles you ensure you tell us the skin colour of everyone you name in your comments, as you have done in this post, just for consistency’s sake.

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