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Rutland County Council leader calls on disgraced former councillor Richard Alderman to pay back allowances or give them to charity after he admitted posting offensive messages about MP Diane Abbott and Prime Minister Theresa May


By Sarah Ward, Local Democracy Reporter


The leader of Rutland County Council has called on a disgraced councillor to pay back his allowances or donate them to a local charity.

Independent councillor Richard Alderman resigned from the council last month (February) just weeks before he would have been automatically disqualified for not having attended a formal council or committee meeting within a six month period.

In October, the pensioner had been sentenced to a community order after admitting four charges of sending grossly offensive or menacing messages on social media last year.

The issue of whether Mr Alderman should keep his allowances was brought up at the full council meeting on Monday (March 11).

Richard Alderman (7378196)
Richard Alderman (7378196)

In a statement later provided, council leader Oliver Hemsley said: “The actions of ex-Councillor Alderman have left me deeply disappointed. Being a councillor is an earned privilege that brings with it a considerable commitment to the community; an expectation of well-reasoned experience; common sense and, most of all, integrity. He was elected to represent the electorate in his ward and he has failed to take this public investment of trust seriously.

“During this period, he has also taken almost £2,000 as an allowance for being a county councillor, but I can find no record of his attendance at any official meetings or committees.

“Whilst I can understand that his mind may have been distracted by the ramifications of his injudicious statements and the court actions that followed, I find his conduct unacceptable.

“I firmly believe that Mr Alderman should fully reimburse the council for his undeserved allowance forthwith, or make an equivalent donation to charity, and preferably one that would benefit the Rutland residents that he has so singularly failed to represent in the manner that they deserved and expected.”

Mr Alderman became the member for Oakham South West after winning a by-election in July by just one vote.

Days after his victory to the Conservative-run council he was arrested after comments made on his Facebook timeline were reported to Leicestershire Police. Comments included offensive remarks about female politicians including the Prime Minister and Labour’s Diane Abbott.

The community order put him on a six-month curfew which prevented him leaving the house between 7pm and 7am.

In a short statement given this morning to the Local Democracy Reporting Service Richard Alderman said: “I am undecided on the course of action that I will take as yet.”



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