Councillor’s fury over colleague’s attack on website

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

A COUNCILLOR has hit out over criticism of him on a website.

Flintshire councillor Klaus Armstrong-Braun, who represents Saltney, found a statement about him by Treuddyn member Cllr Carolyn Thomas on the Treuddyn community website, criticising his involvement in her village.

The statement says Cllr Armstrong-Braun does not represent Treuddyn and any issues should be raised with Cllr Thomas.

Cllr Armstrong-Braun, who told the Leader he was considering making a complaint to the Ombudsman for Wales regarding the statement’s content, said he was fully entitled to take an interest in matters outside Saltney.

He said: “Why does Cllr Thomas think I was being a councillor when I became involved in issues in Treuddyn?

“I am entitled to be concerned as a member of the public. I do not always have to be Cllr Klaus Armstrong-Braun.

“I represent Flintshire and I am entitled to be concerned for Flintshire as a whole.
This article about me is very unfair.”

Cllr Armstrong-Braun said he had not been contacted to say the statement was being published and claimed there were factual inaccuracies in it.

He also criticised the accompanying photograph of him wearing shorts, pointing out that this was taken for a Leader story on how he wished to dress around County Hall in the summer months. He said its use in this context discredited him.

In response, Cllr Thomas said she believed her statement to be totally accurate and claimed a clear clash of interest exists if Cllr Armstrong-Braun says he is not acting as a councillor.

She said: “Unlike most members of the public, his position as a councillor means he knows where people are in the authority and where to send emails to.

“He gets straight on to the officer and Flintshire’s chief executive when he is unhappy and he has obstructed applications for good things we have wanted, including a footpath on the old railway line.”

In the statement, Cllr Thomas says she has been “shocked and appalled” by the lengths Cllr Armstrong-Braun will go to get his own way, claiming he has been doing everything possible to discredit a play area application in Treuddyn and other proposals.

Cllr Jenny Smith, chairman of Treuddyn Community Council, said the decision was taken to publish the article to make it clear Cllr Armstrong-Braun was not a Treuddyn councillor in view of his alleged continued presence in the village.

She said: “I don’t understand why he is spending so much time in Treuddyn. He seems to be visiting us every other weekend.

“He has objected to us having things like play areas, which surely can only be of benefit to the community.

“We are working well in partnership with Cllr Thomas and surely there are issues for Cllr Armstrong-Braun to focus on in his own Saltney ward.”

See full story in the Leader

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