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Suffolk bans protester after “abusive” e-mails on new record office

PUBLISHED: 16:12 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 20:47 29 August 2018

Artist's impression of The Hold, the new Suffolk Records' Office for Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Artist's impression of The Hold, the new Suffolk Records' Office for Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Archant

A protester who has been campaigning for months against plans to move all Suffolk record office documents to a new centre in Ipswich has been told the county council will no longer deal with him.

Andrew Pearce is secretary of the SORO (Save Our Record Office) group set up to prevent documents being moved from Lowestoft when The Hold is built on the University of Suffolk campus in Ipswich.

He has sent many e-mails to councillors and officers over the last few months – and this week the council’s monitoring officer Tim Ryder wrote to tell him they would no longer respond.

Mr Ryder wrote: “The council will not enter into any further correspondence with you, having applied the policies for dealing with unreasonable complainant behaviour and unreasonably persistent complainants. You will simply receive an acknowledgement of receipt.”

Mr Pearce said he had become frustrated by the council’s responses to the concerns of his group about proposals to move records from Lowestoft to The Hold in Ipswich.

He felt they had not addressed their concerns and was irritated that some of the responses seemed to be repetitive.

He said: “My e-mails were not threatening or abusive. They were forthright and robust!”

Mr Pearce added: “I think it is disgraceful because Mr Ryder is the subject of a complaint from us to the chief executive of Suffolk County Council.”

Mr Ryder pointed out that Mr Pearce had written of the council using “lies and deceit” and described its responses as “self-serving garbage.”

They had talked about the “ignorance” of cabinet members and has said The Hold was being built on “A foundation of lies, dishonesty and other ethical misconduct.”

The monitoring officer said if Mr Pearce had any evidence of illegality he should report it to the police.

And Mr Ryder said Mr Pearce’s letters had gone beyond what was acceptable to become personally abusive and incorrect.

In his letter, Mr Ryder says he appreciates he is one council officer who is the subject of a corporate complaint submitted by Mr Pearce. Issues around this corporate complaint are now the only matter that the council will discuss with him – all other correspondence from him will only receive an acknowledgement.

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