Gun row still simmering

A COMMUNITY leader is ready to accept an apology from a fellow councillor who threatened him - but it's not yet clear if he will get one.

A COMMUNITY leader is ready to accept an apology from a fellow councillor who threatened him - but it's not yet clear if he will get one.

While Ian Cowan says he would be prepared to listen if John Goodwin - who allegedly told him at a council meeting, “If I had a gun with me I would shoot you” - said sorry, Mr Goodwin is remaining tight-lipped.

“I am afraid I have to say no comment at this time because a complaint has been made against me to the standards board,” said Felixstowe town and county councillor Mr Goodwin.

A row blew up between the pair over the debate over where 2,000 new homes should be built in the Felixstowe area.

Mr Goodwin and his wife Angel , deputy mayor of Felixstowe, abstained from a vote on the issue.

Their action caused a furore among campaigners who believed the Goodwins were going to vote against any resolution which left the door open for building on greenfield sites.

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Mr Goodwin though never promised how he would vote and was then caught in a quandary when he believed casting a vote could impact on the people of Trimley, which he represents on a completely different council.

Following an exchange of emails, the issue blew up again at Trimley St Martin Parish Council.

Mr Goodwin said he “flipped” because Mr Cowan had made unacceptable and offensive remarks about his wife.

The police were asked to investigate and a complaint was made to the standards board which deals with councillors' behaviour.

Mr Cowan said: “I would accept an apology but it would have to be an unqualified one with no conditions, and it would have to be sincere with no-one forcing him to do it.

“He would also have to withdraw what he said. I think that would put us back where we started.

“I think if you come into public life you have to be prepared for criticism - we don't all agree on all issues and it can get heated, but threats are not acceptable.”

Should John Goodwin apologise? What do you think about councillors' behaviour? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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