A WRITTEN warning had been handed out as punishment to a Welshpool Town Councillor over strongly worded Facebook posts criticising fox hunting.

A full meeting of Welshpool Town Council decided that Cllr Heather Chave should receive the warning after they found she had breached the Code of Conduct.

The council had received a number of letters of complaint and support about Cllrs Heather Chave and Nicola Morris who were part of a demonstration against fox hunting at the hunt which met in Welshpool on December 26.

At the council meeting it was also confirmed that town councillors are bound by the Code of Conduct, all of the time, 24 hours a day for 365 days a year.

It was also confirmed that councillors have a right to act as politicians according to their political beliefs and do so in their own name, not officially on behalf of the Town Council

In a statement following the meeting, Welshpool Town Council clerk, Robert Robinson, said: “The councillors were acting as individuals and not representing the town council on this day with regards to the event or issue of fox hunting.

“The council has clear evidence that both Cllr Heather Chave and Cllr Nicola Morris acted properly on the day outside the Town Hall.

“What others did within the group is not a matter for the town council.

“The council considered that the Code of Conduct had been breached with regard to the Facebook posts and a written warning has been issued by the town clerk to the councillor involved.

“The council has received an apology from Cllr Heather Chave over Facebook posts and this was taken into account when considering the matter overall.

“The council recognises the right of individuals to campaign in a free country.

“The councillors signed up to a Code of Conduct which applies 365 days a year 24 hours a day in all walks of life.

“The council expects all its councillors and staff to act in a professional and polite way at all times without exception.”

Mr Robinson added that the council feared that Facebook had been used in an abusive way and incidents of “cyber bullying” were taking place.

“The council will not support such uses of Facebook and does hope in the future that people will use this useful social media in a civilised way,” said Mr Robinson.

He added: “As far as the council is concerned this is now the end of the matter.”