Council’s mental health champion suffered abuse on emails shared with council staff
Richard Evans Local Democracy Reporter
A council’s mental health champion says he’s considered not standing again for council after he was ‘attacked’ on emails shared with council employees.
Glyn y Marl councillor Dave Jones is the second Conwy councillor to step forward and admit to mental health issues after Cllr Austin Roberts declared he will not stand again due to abuse from another councillor.
Both councillors backed a motion voted through by Conwy councillors last week stating intimidation and abuse undermined democracy.
‘Increasing level of toxicity’
The motion’s backing means Conwy has formally noted an increasing level of toxicity in public and political discourse, and the council has now committed itself to challenging the “normalisation of abuse” against both members and employees.
Cllr Jones, who serves the Llandudno Junction ward, is also the Mental Health Champion for Conwy and said he had also suffered abuse from another councillor.
“I totally support the ‘debate, not hate’ initiative within the council and wholeheartedly support my colleague (Cllr David Carr) for tabling this motion, which was approved by the full council,” he said.
“In my role as Mental Health Champion and White Ribbon Ambassador at the council, I realise that hateful language towards each other can have a profound and detrimental effect on us all as individuals and groups, at work and in the family home.
‘Debate not hate’
“I was saddened that another colleague announced, during the full council debate, that he would not be standing for council again due to email attacks from within the council, and I applauded with others when another councillor spoke, saying that fellow members should be prepared to practice what they preach.”
“I have also questioned standing again for the council after receiving email attacks openly shared with council employees. Thankfully, these emails have stopped, but at one stage, my own mental health started to suffer.
“Hopefully, the adoption of debate, not hate by the council, will help educate everyone to respect each other as individuals and groups and lead to healthy debates in the future.”
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