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War of words erupts over a new Facebook page
A WAR of words has erupted between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats at a town council over a new Facebook page.
The Chesham Conservative Group of Councillors set up a new Facebook page called Chesham Councillors to allow people in the town to raise concerns using modern technology.
Although the page has been set up and is run by the town's Conservative councillors, they have also extended the invitation to councillors in other party groups in the town to comment on the posts and take part in discussions.
But the Liberal Democrats on the town council have accused the Tories of 'misleading' the public.
Conservative councillor Peter Hudson said: "The way people are communicating is changing. Whilst we will always facilitate access via telephone, email and post, many people now use social media to communicate, and as local councillors we need to be responsive to this.
"We would encourage all local residents with a Facebook account to 'like' the page in order to receive updates into their own Facebook feeds."
But Leader of the Chesham Town Council Liberal Democrats Alan Bacon accused the Conservatives of not making it clear which party was behind the page. He said: "Chesham's Conservative councillors want to hide their true identity on this Facebook site. It's a deliberate attempt to mislead people. Transparency is really important, and the public shouldn't be tricked on to a Conservative site, thinking it's going to be something quite different."
Cllr Hudson hit back at the Lib Dem claims: "We're being absolutely transparent with the Facebook site. The information about the site, which is at the top of the page states: 'Raise local concerns directly with councillors representing Chesham at all levels - town district and county from the Conservative group. Open to all.
"If we were trying to mislead people we could block councillors from other parties commenting on the site, when in fact we've encouraged them. The site is open to all and we felt that by attaching a political label to it would discourage residents from expressing their concerns. As local councillors, we are elected to represent all, not just those that voted for us."
For more information visit www.facebook.com/CheshamCouncillors.
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