Councillor calls voters ‘halfwits’

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Councillor Davie Paterson called townsfolk halfwits, plonkers and muppets during Facebook row over Scottish Borders Council’s road gritting policy.

And councillor Paterson admitted to an council officer that his behaviour was “inappropriate” and “fell below that expected of a man in his position”.

Former councillor David Richardson accused SBC of a “BIG FAIL” as the town was gripped by freezing conditions on December 8,

And during one exchange one Facebook Stuart Bell berated Councillor Paterson who was trying to explain the council’s position before telling Beenie Marchabank “not to worry” as councillor Paterson “would be dead soon.”

Mr Paterson responded by telling Mr Bell, who suffered a stroke in 2013: “Folk told me that it (Mr Bell’s stroke) couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, people were actually laughing when they told me, they thought it was great.”

Mr Bell replied with a barrage of abuse not fit for a family newspaper, before Beenie Marchbank added: “Excuse me Mr Paterson but I think a man of your status should have more sense than to go on Facebook and slag good people off.”

Mr Paterson replied: “What good people have I slagged off was merely saying halfwits, by answering you’re just confirming what I already know you muppet”, before adding: “Well, time to go, had my fun for the night winding up you muppets.”

Other insults included Mr Paterson referring to Facebook critics as: “A bunch of plonkers.”

Scottish Borders Council have investigated a complaint from David Richardson and in a letter, investigating officer Brian Frater told the former councillor that the Facebook exchanges had “degenerated into little more than a trading of insults and that Councillor Paterson had been subjected to “unpleasant and derogatory remarks” before adding that Mr Paterson has “indicated his willingness to attend” training being offered on the appropriate use of social media.”

Mr Richardson added: “In his letter Mr Frater suggests that Councillor Paterson has apologised but the folk he abused on Facebook haven’t had an apology. I am not happy with this response and I may take this further.