Don’t patronise the people of Nelson

Nelson Town Hall.'Photo Ben Parsons
Nelson Town Hall.'Photo Ben Parsons

I really do wish Mr Pendle would get his facts straight before airing his views.

His tirade against the possibility of Nelson Town Council holding a minute’s silence in memory of Nelson Mandela was so full of inaccuracies, it was almost laughable.

Firstly, Mr Pendle claimed I had called for the silence and my request was rejected by the chairman of the council.

It was, in fact, the chairman, Coun. Susan Hunt, who Mr Pendle refers to as “him”, who called for this show of respect to President Mandela.

Secondly, he says he hasn’t heard of any other councils having similar tributes when a couple of minutes’ research on the internet could have revealed numerous ones across Britain not only holding silences but lowering flags to half mast and opening books of condolence.

As much as Mr Pendle would like to think Nelson has no connection to the rest of the world and the “vast majority” of its residents have no interest in the passing of a widely admired statesman, such sweeping statements are patronising in assuming Nelsonians are ambivalent to world affairs, especially when it comes to the death of a man who has been an inspiration to people from all walks of life.

The one thing he did get right was the fact I complained the tribute did not go ahead.

He did, however, completely overlook the cause of my complaint which was that the chairman’s call for a minute’s silence was overturned, via a veto, from two councillors who chose to remain anonymous.

In a council of 24 members, surely it is not democratic for two councillors to dictate the agenda.

So, Mr Pendle, while you are perfectly entitled to your own view, please check your information before commenting on councillors’ actions or claiming to speak for the people of Nelson and get a grip on the real issue here, which is a question of democracy.

Coun. Yvonne Tennant

Nelson Town Council