Row over political newsletter sent out during pandemic
- Credit: Antony Kelly
A complaint has been lodged against a political group after it sent a newsletter around houses in a city suburb while the region was in Tier 4.
The Liberal Democrat group in Hellesdon sends a quarterly newsletter to households called Focus, which shares examples of projects the group has worked on, with the latest edition also including a New Year's message from Broadland councillor David Britcher.
However, the latest newsletter has resulted in a complaint being lodged with Hellesdon Parish Council, amid concerns about it being delivered during the Tier 4 restrictions.
With the nation now in a lockdown, though, Mr Britcher said future deliveries had been called off.
David King, a Conservative councillor in Hellesdon, said: "My view is that delivering leaflets door-to-door while the message is to stay home is very socially irresponsible.
You may also want to watch:
"As councillors, we are supposed to be leading by example and only making essential trips, so it doesn't feel particularly right to me. I do not see delivering political leaflets as essential travel and I would not ask any volunteers to do it."
But Liberal Democrat Mr Britcher, who represents Hellesdon south-east on Broadland Council, said: "The delivery of the Hellesdon Focus Winter Edition was undertaken in line with the guidance given by the central office of the Liberal Democrats.
- 1 Woman left with 'serious back injuries' after pub fight
- 2 Driver flees after crashing into level crossing
- 3 Norwich pub's shock after city council refuse outdoor seating bid
- 4 Police and air ambulance called to major incident near Norwich
- 5 Delivery driver fined for 'flagrant' seafront stunt caught on CCTV
- 6 Couple sell 'amazing' converted water mill after two-year renovation
- 7 Hairdressers working 12-hour days to recoup Covid losses
- 8 Day of two halves - Footballer wins £80,000 and breaks leg in 24 hours
- 9 Caravan left dumped near beach for several years will be removed
- 10 Man staged his own kidnap to get ransom from his family
"As you will appreciate, the delivery of Focus leaflets to the whole of Hellesdon can take several days to complete.
"Following the prime minister's announcement on Monday, January 4, I contacted all the Focus deliverers at 8.33pm and stopped further delivery until such time as I receive clearance from the central office of the Liberal Democrats to resume."
Delivery of the leaflets began around Christmas Eve and continued until the PM's announcement of a third national lockdown.
When deliveries began, Hellesdon, like the rest of Norfolk, was under Tier 2 restriction, before being moved into Tier 4 from Boxing Day.
Meanwhile, guidance on canvassing issued by the Electoral Commission last year did not prohibit the delivery of political leaflets through letterboxes, nor is there any legislation preventing this from being done.