The leader of the Labour group at Lichfield District Council says “ignorant people” have led to a decision by a Burntwood councillor to resign.
Councillors had been due to discuss an exemption from the six month rule to allow Cllr Bernard Brown to continue in his role.
A report by Lichfield District Council had said it was needed because was “not able to use IT equipment” to attend meetings during the coronavirus crisis.
But before the issue could be debated, Cllr Steve Norman, said Cllr Brown had taken the decision to resign.
“Unfortunately for Bernard he saw what has been on the internet and on social media regarding him and the fact he does not use the internet.
“Trust me, he has tried and various people have tried to help him, but when you’re 82 and you’ve never typed before it’s quite daunting.
“He’s been a great ward member and there are a lot of ignorant people out there.
“There are some people that don’t seem to know what a councillor does. If it’s a matter of just turning up for a meeting that would be easy but it’s not – it’s getting phone calls on a Saturday and Sunday, people crying on the phone and having surgeries every month
“All those things I enjoy and I’m sure Bernard did as well.
“What he and his family can’t stand is the vilification he has got on social media recently. For that reason he cannot take it anymore and he has resigned from the council.”Cllr Steve Norman
Labour colleague Cllr Darren Ennis said social media criticism of Cllr Brown was “an absolute disgrace”.
“We are told as councillors we’ve got to have thick skin and broad shoulders, but we shouldn’t have to – especially when we aren’t doing anything massively wrong.
“The comments we’ve heard are an absolute disgrace. Because he cannot use technology does not mean he is not an asset and voice to this community and this council.
“Bernard throughout the whole of this has been carrying on with his case work. He’s still answering the phone he’s still helping people when they want his help.
“I’m really saddened by the loss of an amazing councillor.”Cllr Darren Ennis