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Police in warning on e-mail ‘attacks’ on Keighley town councillor
Police have visited the home of a Keighley campaigner amid allegations of harassment suffered by a town councillor.
Michael Westerman says he decided “enough was enough” after receiving the latest in a barrage of e-mails from former councillor and fierce Keighley Town Council critic, David Samuels.
Following the latest missive fired off by the Thwaites Brow resident criticising him and his colleagues, Coun Westerman reported the issue to police. An officer interviewed both parties in the dispute, but other than a verbal warning for Mr Samuels, no further action has been taken.
Coun Westerman said: “It’s childish and I don’t have to put up with it.
“These are just stupid e-mails, saying things like Keighley Town Council is corrupt. This isn’t council business, it’s just stupidity.”
But while acknowledging he is unhappy with the way the town council is being run, Mr Samuels rejects the claim his e-mails are a form of harassment.
The retired shopkeeper did, however, confirm he was visited on October 1 by a police officer, who warned him not to harass Coun Westerman.
“I have a list of all the councillors’ dot gov e-mail addresses, which I send messages to when I want to give them information,” he said.
“I’m legally entitled to send e-mails to anyone who has a dot gov address, as long as I’m not abusive, which I never am.
“Yes, I do criticise the town council, and I don’t like its committee system, which means the general public doesn’t get to see what is going on.”
Mr Samuels also admits he strongly supports the actions of the Cavetown Council group, which is waging an ongoing war of words with the local authority regarding issues including the escalating costs of running the North Street civic centre and the right for members of the public to film council meetings.
Coun Westerman, who represents the Morton and Sandbeds ward, claims he asked Mr Samuels more than once to stop contacting him.
He added: “I don’t mind anyone from Keighley getting in touch with me at my dot gov e-mail address if it’s about council business. But Mr Samuels doesn’t even live in my ward. I’ve had about ten e-mails from him in the past week alone.”
An Airedale and North Bradford Police spokesman said: “We can confirm all parties have been spoken to, and no further action will be taken.”