‘Misleading’ political leaflet is questioned

Councillor Jane Dargue.
Councillor Jane Dargue.

Concerns have been raised about a ‘misleading’ leaflet which was posted through residents’ doors to promote a county-council candidate ahead of May’s elections.

The flyer is for Labour contender Terry Clark, who aims to replace the current Amble ward member Coun Robert Arckless – also Labour – who is stepping down.

The leaflet states that ‘Amble has benefitted from a Labour council’ and that ‘Amble has done well in recent years from a Labour council’.

It has prompted members of the town council to raise concerns, saying that it makes no reference to the Labour-run county administration.

In turn, members felt that it could lead people to think that the town council is a Labour council, which it is not.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Helen Lewis said: “I understand the gentleman is standing on behalf of the county council, but nowhere on the leaflet does it mention the county council.

“My real concern is that it says that Amble has benefitted from a Labour council and that Amble has done well from a Labour council and it could mislead people to think that Amble Town Council is a Labour council, which it is not.”

Amble mayor Jane Dargue said that she had spoken to Coun Arckless and she was ‘assured that there was no intent to mislead people’ and that his take on it was that people would realise that it was referring to the county council.

She stressed that the town council will work with a county council of any political persuasion and that the town council’s ‘political agenda begins and ends with Amble’.

She added that she will support Terry Clark in the election.

Prior to the meeting, Coun Jeff Watson, who stands on Amble Town Council and is also ward member for Amble West with Warkworth, contacted the Gazette to raise his own concerns.

He said: “I suppose we can expect to see election fever starting, but I was surprised to see, even at this early stage, that misleading articles are starting to appear from the Labour Party.

“The leaflet never mentions the county council, but it talks of Amble doing well from a Labour council. Unfortunately for the writer, Amble isn’t a Labour council.

“However, I agree with his statement that the town is doing well, despite it not being a Labour-controlled council.”