Parish councillor resigns after claims of 'rude and offensive' emails

Andrew Peake Fleggburgh

Andrew Peake, pictured at a virtual meeting of Fleggburgh Parish Council on March 29. - Credit: Fleggburgh Parish Council

A parish councillor has resigned after being accused of sending 'rude and offensive' e-mails to fellow members.

Andrew Peake, the subject of the complaints, stepped down from Fleggburgh Parish Council on Sunday, April 11, four days ahead of a meeting scheduled for Thursday but which was cancelled due to the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

According to the meeting's agenda, published on April 9, Mr Peake was to have been declared "unfit to hold public office" and called on to resign as parish councillor.

All councillors have said they are "adapting" to the working from home life while the Town Hall rema

A standards committee meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council found Andrew Peake in breach of the code of conduct in his role as Fleggburgh parish councillor. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

His resignation follows a standards committee hearing at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, held in February, behind closed doors, which was told that five complaints had been made against Mr Peake relating to emails which the parish council's clerk, Jimmy Miller, found "offensive and malicious".

The committee heard that Mr Peake, who was elected to the parish council in 2017, sent "rude" emails to other councillors about Mr Miller and that he "criticised and humiliated" other parish councillors on social media.

The committee found Mr Peake in breach of its code of conduct and agreed to sanction him, recommending the parish council issue him with a formal censure.

A spokesperson for Fleggburgh Parish Council has said: "Since the hearing’s results have been made public, Andrew Peake has taken the decision to step down from his position as parish councillor in Fleggburgh.

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"The parish council hope that they can now move on for the benefit of the Parish and wish Andrew Peake well for the future."

Speaking after his resignation, Mr Peake said that the borough council's standards committee had also "highlighted governance issues especially in the handling of complaints" by Fleggburgh Parish Council.

Minutes for the meeting state that the committee noted it was "not clear whether complaints raised by [Mr Peake] had been fully and appropriately processed according to the complaints policy".