The complaint that led to blogger James Hargave removing a lampoon video from the internet was made by County Councillor Joanne Spicer, Ipswich Spy has revealed. As well as campaigning against a Free School in Beccles, Hargrave is chair of his village primary school governors.
The Ipswich blog also has a statement from the council saying:
We have not asked anyone to remove any online videos. We simply contacted the owner of the blog to seek a meeting to discuss whether, as a Suffolk school governor, it was appropriate.
Unfortunately this meeting was declined. We have no legal powers to force any action and nor would be want such powers. As far as we are concerned, the matter is closed.
Whilst it might make for an interesting blog post to suggest otherwise, we have absolutely not censored any online content.
The background is that Hargrave (education posts on his blog) last week received a letter from the Seckford Foundation, which is behind the Beccles Free School project, demanding removal of the video. He declined and on Tuesday had a call from the council. As a result he removed the video. For more see the Ipswich Spy’s thorough story and my two previous posts.
According to the Spy, Councillor Spicer, who represents the Blckbourn division, asked whether or not school governors had to sign a code of conduct in the way councillors do. Exactly what was said by whom will probably never be clear.
What is curious is that, in an email to Hargrave, Spicer says: “I am told it was drawn to county council’s attention by others but I am the only councillor to have done so.”
I would not have expected Endeavour House to be the first place people wanting to complain about an internet video would think of. So the identity of the other complainants is interesting.
What we do know is that Spicer has a connection with the Seckford Foundation which has joined with her and others in the area to develop proposals for a Free School in Ixworth (Bury Free Press).