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Councillor cleared after swearing at resident
A CROXLEY Green parish councillor has been cleared of wrong-doing after sending an abusive email to a resident.
In an email seen by the Gazette, sent on March 19 this year, Councillor Mark Saxon wrote 'f**k off you sad git' to Robert Ridley, of Scots Hill, Croxley Green.
Mr Ridley, an ex-parish councillor who resigned in March 2005, says he repeatedly tried to contact Croxley Green Parish Council (CGPC) to request a notice about local blood donor sessions be put on its website.
The 53-year-old hairdresser said: "Blood donation is a matter of life and death and I just don't understand why the CGPC would refuse to put that information on its website.
"I understand that Mr Saxon is a blood donor himself so I was appalled at his vile response."
After receiving the email, Mr Ridley lodged a complaint with the Standards Committee at Three Rivers District Council, which is responsible for maintaining high standards of conduct by district and parish councillors. An investigation was duly launched.
But Chairman of CGPC, Marion Birch, argued Mr Ridley is a 'habitual and vexatious complainant' who has been placed on the parish council's 'awareness register' and told his emails and telephone calls will no longer be accepted.
He has also been banned from entering the parish council premises and may only communicate with Mrs Birch via mail posted to her home address.
Mrs Birch said: "Robert Ridley is obsessed by the perceived shortcomings of our parish council which is demonstrated by a very large file of correspondence from him.
"He is on our awareness list after years of harassment and intimidation. We have a duty of care to protect our staff and had to take these steps to reduce stress in the workplace."
She said of the email, which was sent via Mr Saxon's personal address, listed in the contact details on the CGPC website: "Councillors do publish their personal email addresses to enable residents to make contact but that does not infer that all messages sent from those accounts are official council statements."
The findings of the investigation were heard at a Standards Committee Meeting on Tuesday last week (27) at Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth, where members decided Mr Saxon, of Frankland Road, Croxley Green, was not in breach of his role.
Mr Ridley, said of the decision: "I don't deny I am a thorn in the side of the parish council but it is pathetic they won't respond to my emails or take action, especially when it could help save lives through blood donations.
"No wonder people have lost faith in the political system in this country. I may consider taking this to appeal."
Mrs Birch hailed the decision as 'a victory for common sense'. She added: "We are delighted by the news.
"The taxpayer has to foot the bill every time there is an inquiry of this nature and it's a shame it had to come to this."
When the Gazette contacted Mr Saxon this week he declined to comment.
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