Member of Arlesey Town Council adamant he will deliver on election promises despite criticism

Chris Gravett of Arlesey Town Council.

Chris Gravett of Arlesey Town Council. - Credit: Archant

A town councillor remains adamant that he will deliver on the promises he made when he was elected, despite calls for him to resign.

Councillor Chris Gravett, who was elected as a member of the Independents for Arlesey group in May, has faced criticism after Arlesey Town Council spent £13,435 on unsuccessfully defending him for making an untrue allegation during a meeting in April of last year.

But Councillor Gravett says he played no part in the council’s decision to offer to pay part of the defence for the defamation claim made against him when he was ‘on official council business’.

“I have had no direct input in the decisions regarding the process as I have always declared personal and pecuniary interests,” he said.

“I am proud that I did not shy away from attempting to address and expose issues in the town council’s activities during my first term.

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“The only regret I have is for the pain my family have suffered as a consequence.

“I would like to say thank you to the community for the fantastic support I have received, with dozens telling me not to give in.

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“I am proud that I led a campaign to give Arlesey the opportunity to choose a council which offered a new ethos to our community.

“I am proud that the new council has been addressing the numerous challenges facing us in an honest and transparent manner.

“Perhaps comments to the contrary have been generated through rejection and bitterness, I don’t know.

“I am proud that a suitably qualified and experienced candidate has been appointed town clerk.

“The council and our staff require such skills and support if we are to address the challenges ahead.

“I am confident that together with my peers we will deliver all the promises made.

“I ask that the community reflects and responds objectively to recent articles. I can understand such sensationalism causing concern. As time goes by you will see that certain articles have been a gross distortion of what I as a person am about.

“I will not be giving up on Arlesey. I will not be resigning – there is no reason whatsoever to even consider it.”

The defamation claim relates to an attempt to discredit former clerk Elsie Hare at a town council meeting last year, which prompted Mrs Hare’s husband, Tony Hare, to take legal action.

When the action was decided in his favour, it meant a total bill of £24,514 – with Mr Gravett paying £11,000 out of his own pocket, and the town council covering the previously stated amount.

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