Councillor withholds address details after death threats

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Susan Parker, the newly-elected councillor for Send, has been given permission not to disclose her address in case of ‘violence or intimidation’

08:50, 1 JUNE 2015
BY JAMES WATKINS

Susan Parker
Susan Parker

A borough councillor has had permission not to disclose her home address after receiving death threats.

On the register of interests on the borough council website, newly-elected councillor for Send, Susan Parker, has withheld information on any ‘beneficial interest in land.’

Cllr Parker, who is the leader of the campaign group turned political party, the Guildford Greenbelt Group, was granted permission to do so from the council’s monitoring officer.

Under details of ‘any beneficial interest in land within the borough council’s area’, which is usually where councillors disclose their home address, Cllr Parker’s register states: “The council’s monitoring officer considers that the nature of councillor Parker’s interest under this paragraph is such that disclosure of the details of the interest could lead to her being subject to violence or intimidation.

“The details of the interest have therefore been withheld under the provisions of paragraph 19 of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.”

Cllr Parker, whose group has opposed the building of developments on Guildford’s green belt, said: “There were death threats previously during the campaign and because of that I would prefer not to disclose my home address on the public record.”

The incidents have been reported to Surrey Police , but Cllr Parker said they were not very serious.

Cllr Parker is not the only borough councillor to withhold information in dramatic circumstances.

Conservative member for the Merrow ward, Cllr Graham Ellwood, has two sections of his register of interests withheld.

As well as the same section as Cllr Parker, the monitoring officer for the same reasons felt it in the best interests not to divulge information on ‘details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain’.

Cllr Ellwood said his companies are disclosed under the register of interests with the borough and the county council, but the names and address of the company have been withheld on police advice for the moment.

“But that situation may change,” he said. “It is nothing to do with my business. It is to do with the work I do as a councillor. It is because I run my business from home.”

He would not go into the details of what was in the police report.

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