Posted: Wed 28th Feb 2024

Plea for Extensive Training on Social Media Made After Councillor’s Viral Rant /

A PLEA for extensive training on social media has been made after a councillor’s foul-mouthed rant was captured on video. 
The near three-minute-long clip of Cllr Sue Malson apparently ranting at unnamed men who she promised to “take down”, and warning people against “f***ing” with her family, went viral on Tik Tok in January after the Labour representative had posted it to Facebook. 
At the time Torfaen Borough Council said its monitoring officer – who is responsible for standards and ensuring councillors abide by the code of conduct – was aware of the video and had given advice to the Trevethin and Penygarn councillor. It said it understood the video had since been removed and that no official complaint had been made. 
The video came to light after council leader Anthony Hunt had complained members of the public failed to show councillors respect and told the authority’s January meeting he’d held talks with the police. 
The Labour leader was questioned about social media training at the authority’s February meeting, but responded by again criticising behaviour towards councillors. 
Abersychan independent councillor Giles Davies asked Cllr Hunt if he would commit to “obligatory extensive training for councillors on the use of social media, with an emphasis on code of conduct and acceptable behaviour towards residents.” 
Cllr Hunt said all members receiving training and he wanted to thank the “hard working” staff in members services who he said “adjust and develop” training for councillors. 
The Panteg councillor then said: “We all try our best as councillors to show consideration to others, something I’d hope you would recognise in me and how I try to lead this council. 
“But please also remember councillors are human beings with their own battles and burdens. Sometimes social media can bring out the worst in people and the goading and abuse of councillors I’ve seen over the years doesn’t help anyone or anything.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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