Seaton councillor called on to resign his seat

PUBLISHED: 15:07 28 January 2019

Seaton Mayor Peter Burrows. Picture Seaton Town Council

Seaton Mayor Peter Burrows. Picture Seaton Town Council

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Peter Burrows accused of ‘behaviour not befitting someone holding public office’

Seaton councillor Peter Burrows – who stepped down as mayor after bringing the office into disrepute – has now been called on to resign his seat on both the town and district authorities.

He quit as chairman after it was revealed he had used his title and an ‘unauthorised’ Twitter account - named ‘Seaton TIC’ - to urge people to ‘avoid’ a local pub – The Hat, on Queen Street.

His call followed an exchange on Facebook in which he was the subject of an offensive comment.

But Gary Millar, owner of The Hat, had not been involved in the altercation and was an entirely innocent party.

Cllr Burrows later apologised ‘unreservedly’ and stepped down as First Citizen after admitting he had brought the town council into disrepute.

Now fellow town councillors have 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. In a personal capacity he posted defamatory statements about a local business on social media but used an account purported to be an official account and referring to himself in the capacity of mayor.

“Cllr Burrows has admitted his actions were unacceptable and that the target of his comments was an entirely innocent party. He has shown he lacks the integrity to remain a councillor and to represent the people of Seaton and East Devon.”

The council backed the motion calling on Cllt Burrows to resign after hearing from Mr Millar.

He told them: “Mr Burrows had a very public argument about fox hunting with a private individual on the Facebook page ‘Seaton Views’. This escalated to a robust exchange between the two. Mr Burrows took exception to being called a very naughty word. His inexplicable reaction was to use his title of mayor to make a direct attack on me, accusing me of being disparaging to the mayor, and to tell thousands of subscribers to a Twitter page to avoid my business.

“It is not at all clear why Mr Burrows chose The Hat as opposed to the many other local businesses that his detractor frequents.”

Cllr Burrows, a Liberal Democrat councillor, was not present at the meeting. When contacted by The Herald afterwards he said: “No comment”.

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