Home   Grantham   News   Article

Subscribe Now

South Kesteven District Council Independent councillor apologises for ‘tw*t’ comment





A councillor has apologised after calling another member a 'tw*t' during a meeting.

Three complaints were received about Bourne Austerby Councillor Paul Fellows (Ind) following the February 29 full meeting of South Kesteven District Council.

The incident followed a tongue-in-cheek comment by Coun Ben Green (Con) about the budget three hours into the meeting.

Councillor Paul Fellows was sat as deputy chairman during the meeting.
Councillor Paul Fellows was sat as deputy chairman during the meeting.

Coun Paul Fellows was originally videoed saying 'tw*t' following the comment, sparking the complaints. The online video of the meeting has since been censored so that viewers cannot see the words uttered.

The councillor, understood to be due to take on chairmanship, has since apologised for his actions.

He said: "A point of order/information was raised by Coun Green towards the end of a long and important meeting. I considered this to be of very little relevance and designed to be provocative.

The moment has been censored in the authority's re-uploaded video.
The moment has been censored in the authority's re-uploaded video.

"I made a comment, a single-word observation, to myself. At the time, I was not taking part in the debate or using a microphone.

"It was pointed out to me some days later what I had done. I should not have used that word.

"I immediately sent, by private email, an apology to all councillors and a separate apology to Coun Green."

South Kesteven District Council chairman Gloria Johnson and vice-chairman Paul Fellows. Credit: South Kesteven District Council
South Kesteven District Council chairman Gloria Johnson and vice-chairman Paul Fellows. Credit: South Kesteven District Council

He denied that he'd 'hurled' the comment across the chamber.

"The matter was officially investigated by democratic services," he said.

"I consider the matter closed."

However, Grantham Isaac Newton ward member Coun Green posted the video online on Thursday night, saying that the incident left him 'stunned and upset'.

"This isn't just a heated moment; it's a clear breach of the council's code of conduct. Can someone who can't control their language be trusted to lead?" he asked.

"This isn't merely a matter of personal grievance; it's about the community's trust in its leaders. Does Coun Fellows really think he's the right person to be our figurehead when his use of such language, like 'tw*t', seems to come without warning?"

Councillor Ben Green outside St Mary's Church, in North Witham.
Councillor Ben Green outside St Mary's Church, in North Witham.

Although it has looked into the complaints, South Kesteven District Council has not launched a formal investigation following Coun Fellow’s apology.

A spokesperson for the authority said: "Three separate complaints were received about an incident relating to an individual councillor at the South Kesteven District Council meeting which took place on February 29.

"These were assessed against the relevant criteria in line with normal procedure for complaints against councillors and found insufficient for formal investigation given that an informal resolution was achieved.

"Coun Paul Fellows has issued a written apology to all councillors in an email, the content of which also indicated that he would offer a further apology at the next meeting of Council, on 23rd May."

The full council meeting on February 29 was a heated one according to a recent standards committee report on March 6.

Officers told the committee that 22 complaints were received in the days that followed the meeting. The details of the other complaints has not been made public.

They said that if complaints were moved on to the formal investigation stage and became unmanageable by the monitoring officer, they would be sent to an outside company.

Minutes from the meeting said: ”There would be a cost for these services.”

Up to that point, there had been 16 complaints received against district councillors, with the majority being councillors complaining about fellow members.

Issues ranged from threats to go to the press, comments on transgender issues, lack of consultations, councillors attending pro-Palestinian rallies and disrespectful comments on social media.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More