After what she describes as a “rubbish week of personal attacks and lies” Councillor Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) has hit back at her critics on social media in the wake of the “Post It Note” controversy.
Cllr Burnett says in her tweet that she is “disappointed with my fellow humans” and goes on to take inspiration from the distinguished American civil rights campaigner Dr Maya Angelou by linking her remarks to a YouTube video of Professor Angelou reading her moving poem of struggle against adversity “Still I Rise”.
A Vale Conservative Party source commented “Even tacitly suggesting that the struggle for civil rights is analogous to her [Cllr Burnett’s] struggle to accept public criticism is beyond parody”
In other remarks Cllr Burnett also points-out to her critics that she can “dead-lift 70 kilograms”.
The comments all follow in the wake of the “Post-It-Note” row – a row emanating from Cllr Burnett’s reaction (some described it as ‘over-reaction’) to having a joke “Post-It” note placed on the windscreen of her car by Vale Assembly candidate Ross England when it was parked outside the Vale Conservative offices in Barry in November last year. The little note bore the words “PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE” .[ See PDN http://tinyurl.com/hp75kvc ]
Cllr Burnett had demanded to review the CCTV footage captured by the security cameras operated by the “Safer Vale Partnership” from a control centre in the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s headquarters in Barry in order to establish who had left the offending note on her windscreen.
Now, for PDN readers with half-an-hour to spare, and who may wish to gain new insights into the continuing saga over their morning coffee, here are some of the comments which have since appeared on the Facebook page of the Barry and District News which provide a cross section of local opinion:-
Jon Hill Love the fact Liz has time in her busy schedule to request CCTV footage and “review” it for the heinous crime of a post-it note left on her car whereas 99.9% of the population wouldve just picked it off and put it in the bin without a second thought. She must be bored. Get a life and get on with your job.
Hazel Evans Amazing how when a REAL crime happens i.e the repeated break in of my husbands work van no CCTV is available. Thank goodness CCTV was covering this area and the perpetrator could be found. No idea how you’d be at risk from a post it note but who knows what dangers are out there!
Cllr Shirley Hodges Can I see the CCTV footage of High Street? Or is this an example of abuse of position. Perhaps labour want to watch Fred Johnson pop into the spoons with his Tory friends after VOG planning meetings. [ PDN Note: Cllr Shirley Hodges is the leader of Plaid Cymru on Barry Town Council]
Cllr Chris Elmore Anyone can request cctv footage Shirley, as you’ll be aware when an incident happens, whatever that may be, cctv is requested if in use in the area of the incident to help find who committed the offence. [ PDN Note: Cllr Chris Elmore (Labour Castleland Ward, Barry) is in charge of education in the Vale of Glamorgan Council and – like Cllr Burnett – is a member of its six-strong ruling ‘cabinet’ ]
Cllr Chris Elmore Lis didn’t go to the press, all she asked was why someone from that office did it, it was a simple question, she asked that of Alun Cairns, as he’s the MP and you’d Kind of hope/think he’d know what his staff are doing. Ross decided to go to the press, that’s up to him I guess. As ever Shirley you have to have ‘a go’ because I guess you take any opportunity to make a political point, that’s fine of course as that’s your right, but I’m not getting into an argument about it. I answered your question because it was a fair question.
Cllr Chris Elmore I’m not sure I did defended anyone I didn’t even comment on the article, Lis and Ross can comment on the article and make their own positions clear, you asked a question, or rather posed one, which I thought was reasonable and I answered it. You then commented further, that’s your right of course. I only answered the question nothing more. As I say I’m not going to get into an argument about it, because there are much bigger things to worry about. The B&D obviously choice to run an article, that’s there choice. [ PDN Note: sic] Not sure I understand Mr Rees comment, as I’ve not done anything but answer was I thought was a reasonable question. How any cllr, candidate AM or MP conducts themselves is a matter for them, I’ve no interesting in arguing or falling out over it.
Kevin Watts Chris I’m disappointed to see you defending such a gross overreaction by Lis Burnett and an abuse of her position. Data protection and privacy laws would have someone from the general public jumping through hoops to gain access to CCTV footage and rightly so and given the paperwork and supporting documents you have to provide just to get a parking permit in Barry I very much doubt a member of the public would be granted access for such a trivial matter. Sadly this country has a burgeoning political class who have an ever increasing sense of entitlement.
Cllr Lis Burnett Reposting my comment from above for information. I’ve been interested to read the comments on the post and thought it would be worth clarifying a few points. 1. There was absolutely nothing to identify the person who had placed the note and so could not judge if it was a joke or whether I was at risk. Far from being a prank it appears that Mr England took every step to avoid identification by walking right around the block before returning to his office. 2. In such a situation anyone can ask for CCTV coverage to be reviewed. It is necessary to provide the time and location and a description of the incident and then CCTV operatives review the specific footage. It is not possible to just watch CCTV footage without reason. In this case I notified a ten minute period but the incident took place only 2 minutes after I had left the car. 3. I did not make the matter public. I wrote privately to Alun Cairns MP about the conduct of his staff. My letter was then used by his employee to attack me. The only comment I have made to the media was to issue the same response to both papers when they asked for a comment. I still have not received a response from Alun Cairns himself. Interestingly the photo above states that the post-it note is a duplicate but it is remarkably similar to the one still in my possesion. The red car behind Ross England is also remarkably similar to mine and parked in the same location, opposite Dr Bob’s and not outside his office. I did not have any idea of the intentions or identity of the person who placed the note on my car that day. Nasty comments online are one thing but a physical act is a whole different ball game. I remain of the opinion that Ross England’s actions that day were inappropriate and demonstrated a lack of understanding of the personal safety issues facing women today. I advised his employer of that. The decision to put this in the public domain was his and his alone.
Cllr Chris Elmore Sorry Mr Watts, but you’re not correct. Anyone can ask to see the cctv footage, if an incident takes place, literally anyone. It doesn’t mean you can watch it over and over without reason, but the public are allowed to ask if there has been some sort of incident. No one has abused their position. I’m not sure who’s in the political class, but that’s your view. All I did was answer a question, if you read what I said. Thanks a lot chris
Kevin Watts An incident? a post-it note is now an incident is it? its a waste of the operators time and such a frivolous request would no doubt be turned down if it were from a member of the public. Some time ago one of your assistants knocked my door during a local election and asked if I would like to speak to you. I gave her a brief run down of my concerns for the town and despite knowing you were potentially opening yourself up to an aggrieved voter who did not vote Labour you still took the time to come and speak to me and my partner and explain what was going on at the council, for that you earned my respect but sadly you are losing that by toeing the party line by trying to defend the indefensible and create political mischief. Look at the comments here from Barry residents, they can see this for what it is so lets just drop the charade? This is nothing more than a political game to distract the people of Barry from the real discussion of parking charges in Barry, a move that would rip the heart out of the town. As for my thoughts about the political class I’m not the only one who believes all too many of our councillors serve their own interests before those of the Vale.
Anne Arnold Frankly I’m surprised Liz has any interests that demands she spends time in Barry. As to fears of attack you have simply made yourself look stupid. If you fear attack in broad daylight you might want to consider the REAL risk men AND women face due to street lights being turned off based in crime stats from local police. Stats that allow lights to be turned off in areas of previous low crime. Don’t make this about female safety. Will the savings go to further improvements in Penarth. You may also want to consider the risk we face daily from drug takers here in the town. You may want to to ask yourself why you felt the need to even react to this whole incident with anything more than a chuckle. And if you consider some of these posts to be personal, I would suggest you are in the wrong job.
Anne Arnold: Chris Elmore with respect this is such a non issue. Why didn’t Liz just throw the note away. I’m sorry but no self respecting woman would use safety as an issue. In broad daylight? In Barry High Street? If she feels that at risk maybe she should be doi…See More
Cllr Shirley Hodges: Anne Arnold couldn’t agree with you more. So many young people including women work around high street in hospitality jobs. These places close at Midnight or later. They go home in the pitch black. These stupid decision affect real people doing their best to earn living.
Kevin Watts Chris Elmore can you give me the details of the person I need to contact for access to the CCTV footage. I’d like to understand how Lis Burnett was at risk from this post-it note, I am intrigued to see who was in the street at the time that would have made her so nervous.
Clive Riley I cannot believe the arguing over such a minor issue of a Tory demonstrating their usual Tory banter on someone which to be honest was harmless. Could we see some passion from politicians (if that’s what you are) about real issues because no one in there right mind gives a monkeys about this pointless story. I sent an email to Mr Cairns this week regarding the proposed 3g at colcot sports centre and would hold my breath on getting a reply. May I suggest you get back to proper issues as its an embarrassment.
Cllr Lis Burnett: I’ve been interested to read the comments on the post and thought it would be worth clarifying a few points. 1. There was absolutely nothing to identify the person who had placed the note and so could not judge if it was a joke or whether I was at risk. Far from being a prank it appears that Mr England took every step to avoid identification by walking right around the block before returning to his office. 2. In such a situation anyone can ask for CCTV coverage to be reviewed. It is necessary to provide the time and location and a description of the incident and then CCTV operatives review the specific footage. It is not possible to just watch CCTV footage without reason. In this case I notified a ten minute period but the incident took place only 2 minutes after I had left the car. 3. I did not make the matter public. I wrote privately to Alun Cairns MP about the conduct of his staff. My letter was then used by his employee to attack me. The only comment I have made to the media was to issue the same response to both papers when they asked for a comment. I still have not received a response from Alun Cairns himself. Interestingly the photo above states that the post-it note is a duplicate but it is remarkably similar to the one still in my possesion. The red car behind Ross England is also remarkably similar to mine and parked in the same location, opposite Dr Bob’s and not outside his office.
Kevin Watts Lis Burnett keep digging that hole, “at risk” from what? a little bit of glue smear from the post it note? a paper cut perhaps when you removed it. I find your excuses quite pathetic. I very much doubt a member of the public would be given access over such a trivial matter especially with the way the current council appear to run a “pay more for less” when it comes to services. I think calling this an ‘attack’ is extremely thin skinned, perhaps funding another pet project in Penarth might take your mind off of this?
Cllr Lis Burnett: You are entitled to your opinion Mr Watts. I hope that no woman in your life ever has to consider whether they are at risk of attack. It’s not a pleasant feeling. I repeat, I raised this privately with Ross England’s employer. It was his decision to put it in the public domain.
Kevin Watts Risk of attack?? you truly are now making yourself look utterly ridiculous, a post-it note constitutes a risk of attack?? how about the risk to the people of Barry, men and women at risk by the council’s decision to turn off the street lighting? Once again the council’s mantra is “pay more for less”
Cllr Lis Burnett : Again Mr Watts you are entitled to your opinion. However if you pop out to the shops in a break between appointments and on getting back into your car you see a scrawled note on your windscreen. You have a decision to take. Do you get back out of your car and if so will there be someone waiting to abuse or assault you. It was not possible to see what was on the note from the inside of my car. Ross England knows that I am not responsible for car parking so even when I read the note I didn’t see why he would be responsible. We hold weekly surgeries but always make sure people are not alone. Similarly there has been a comment about when we call on people and it is worth noting that we do not go alone. If someone contacts me and I then visit them I always ensure that someone knows where I am. I think most of us remember Suzy Lamplugh and those risks are always in the mind of most women if they are alone. It might be difficult to imagine feeling like that if you’ve never experienced it. Ross England obviously has no idea of the consequences of his action which is why I wrote privately to his employer. I am very disappointed at his subsequent actions.
Kevin Watts You keep going on about feeling at risk, how on earth did you feel at risk getting out of your car when you had just walked to it? If there was any risk then surely you would have noticed it as you approached your car and it was on a busy high street in broad daylight and not some dark alley where the street lights are turned off at night where drug taking is rife and apparently ignored by the police but well known to the locals, where the police don’t attend a 999 call when someone is brandishing a knife and there were women scared for their safety, so much so I waited with them until they were able to leave with still no sign of a response from the police despite those people that were reported ran up and down the lanes behind Holton Road. How dare you have the temerity to lecture me on risk and fears of assault when council decisions have led to our town being a more dangerous place to live and you play political games making a mountain out of a molehill over a silly prank. Playing on the lone female theme to try and dig your way out of this silly mess is reprehensible, you are a disgrace.
Cllr Lis Burnett : Safeguarding of lone workers is an issue for men and women. As for being weak. I regularly put up with abuse like this while those who support my view feel intimidated and so contact me privately. I also regularly deadlift 70kg but I do know what it feels like to be assaulted in broad daylight as do other women who have contacted me today . I sincerely hope you don’t have to find out. I do not regard writing a letter as making a big fuss.
Anne Arnold You have placed yourself in this place by your ridiculous over reaction to the whole thing. Looking through this thread I’m struggling to find any support for your action. Who do you think was putting you at risk? Are you making the sexist assumption that a MAN was silently threatening you??? Has it crossed your mind that you should have laughed this off like most of us would? Are you so frightened that you see monsters everywhere? I think you need to speak to someone about your paranoia. And what are you doing about “lone walkers”? Are you going to push for the lighting to be put back on at night. Given you were so frightened in the daylight I hope you are thinking about those going home in the dark. And frankly who cares what you deadlift? You’re a disgrace and an embarrassment to us here in Barry. Oh wait…you don’t care about Barry. And you did make a fuss. A totally unnecessary one to make a point about those nasty Tories again. Has it entered your mind that you could have so easily avoided all of this by ignoring the whole childish prank. Thankfully you don’t represent me as a woman.
Huw Thomas Lis you have totally overreacted it’s as simple as that. Anyone with a sense of humour would understand that is a joke. The more you try to defend yourself the more you are embarrassing yourself! For future reference if someone sticks a post it note on your car in a busy street laugh it off like the rest of us would. Currently you are just showing us what a poor choice in councillors we have representing us.