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Downham Market councillor could face police investigation

A Downham councillor could face a police investigation over questions submitted to its annual town meeting this week

Residents attending the virtual session on Tuesday night were told that Doug Lawson had been reported because of questions which it was claimed were intended to cause "anxiety" to members and staff.

Mr Lawson submitted three questions, which have been seen by the Lynn News but were not read out during the meeting.

Downham Market Town Hall. (45992042)
Downham Market Town Hall. (45992042)

When asked for comment on Tuesday night's meeting, he said today: "I have evidence for my claims and everything I stated in writing is correct and honest, supported by evidence and witness statements."

In them, he made allegations against a senior councillor and staff member and asked when the public could expect a "proper and independent inquiry".

But town mayor Becky Hayes told the meeting: "These questions will not be answered and the individual has been reported to the police to be investigated under the Malicious Communications Act.

"They have been designed to cause stress and anxiety to other council members, and include false statements that the individual in question would have inside knowledge of, as they are privy to council information."

During the meeting Mrs Hayes made several references to the harassment and bullying of both members of the public and other council members by a "certain individual".

She said: "Instead of dealing with complaints of this nature, and social media abuses, the council should be focusing on pertinent issues within the town and focus our energies on that."

Mr Lawson has previously faced questions from fellow councillors about his conduct, following the resignation of two members last year.

There are currently three vacant seats on the town council, all of which are being contested in by-elections next month.

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