Former mayor censured for ‘inappropriate tweet’

Seaton Town Council's Marshlands Centre with Cllr Peter Burrows (inset). Picture Chris Carson

Seaton Town Council's Marshlands Centre with Cllr Peter Burrows (inset). Picture Chris Carson - Credit: Archant

Seaton town councillor brought the authority into disrepute, rules EDDC monitoring officer

Former Seaton Mayor Peter Burrows has been officially censured for bringing the town council into disrepute.

He resigned as the resort’s First Citizen in January after it was revealed he used his position to make an ‘offensive’ remark on social media about a local business.

Cllr Burrows had been involved in an on-line altercation which resulted in him referring to himself as mayor and using a Twitter account named “Seaton TIC” to ask members of the public to ‘avoid’ The Hat micropub.

An investigation into the incident has now been completed by the East Devon District Council’s monitoring officer who confirmed Cllr Burrows’ tweet was ‘entirely inappropriate’.

In a statement EDDC said: “On or around the January 1, 2019, Councillor Peter Burrows posted a tweet on the Seaton TIC Twitter account which alleged that a local business had bad mouthed the mayor of Seaton and asked people to avoid using it.

“The tweet was a direct response to comments made by an individual who Councillor Burrows believed worked at the business concerned. This was not the case and neither the business nor its owner had any involvement in the making of the comments in relation to Councillor Burrows.”

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The monitoring officer ruled that the tweet was inappropriate and breached Seaton Town Council’s code of conduct in that:

It failed to promote and support high standards of conduct,

It failed to treat others with respect,

It could not be justified to the public

Cllr Burrows conducted himself in a manner that brought his office and Seaton Town Council into disrepute.

“As a result Cllr Burrows is hereby formally censured for the breaches that have been found in relation to his entirely inappropriate tweet.”

Following the incident Cllr Burrows resigned as mayor after offering his ‘unreserved apologies’ to the owner of The Hat, Gary Millar.

Subsequently the town council unanimously backed a call for him to resign from both the town and East Devon district councils.

The resolution read: “This council condemns the actions of Cllr Burrows as behaviour not befitting someone holding public office, and calls for his immediate resignation as a Seaton town councillor and EDDC councillor.”

* Cllr Burrows has not given up his seat on either authority.