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Critic’s emails were blocked by council
COUNCIL bosses have admitted blocking emails to officers and councillors from one of City of York Council’s most vociferous critics.
Quantity surveyor Paul Cordock, a campaigner against the authority’s affordable housing policies, has formally complained after discovering his emails were not getting to their intended recipients.
He claims he suffered a serious infringement of his democratic and civil rights, and believed the “shoddy treatment” was an attempt to silence his criticism of the council’s “abject failure” over housing policy.
But a spokesman for the council told The Press he was now able to email staff and councillors. The spokesman said: “It is important for residents to consider the language used within their emails and also the frequency with which they send them.”
Andy Docherty, assistant director for governance and ICT, told Mr Cordock in an email that his email access to the council had been blocked as a result of his earlier “abuse of the system”. He said: “You should have been advised of this but it appears that this did not happen. I apologise for this oversight.”
He said the original request to block the emails followed a number sent over a period of time which seemed to be intended to insult and, in some cases, to attack the integrity of individuals.
Mr Docherty said: “That is an abuse of the system.
“Our expectation is that you do not send excessive numbers of e-mails or emails which are repetitious. It is also our expectation that you do not make personal attacks on individuals in any emails you send.”
But Mr Cordock said he categorically rejected the abuse-insult allegation.
He said: “Councillors are elected representatives and public servants who serve the electorate, and they should be prepared to accept criticism on their policies from residents who are dissatisfied.
“My emails have in no way been as you characterise them; they were not insulting or abusive to the individuals personally. They were critical of the stance that those individuals and the council took on points of policy.”