A COUNCILLOR has received hate mail after becoming the target of a postcard campaign ridiculing his taxpayer-funded trip to Spain.
Tory Chris Carter was one of four Gosport Borough Council delegates who flew to Madrid in December to inspect bin collections at the public’s expense.
Now the Gosport Lib Dems have printed more than 10,000 postcards – showing Cllr Carter superimposed over a sunny tourist spot – which have been delivered to houses in the town.
Residents are being urged to sign the postcard objecting to the trip and to post it to Cllr Carter’s home address in Lee-on-the-Solent.
Cllr Carter says he has received around 100 postcards in 10 days, one of which read: ‘You should be shot’.
‘There have been postcards with very offensive remarks on,’ he said.
‘They’re coming in every day.
‘How would you feel if this sort of thing was coming through your letter box?’
Gosport Borough Council is looking to enter into £175m worth of contracts to provide a range of services over the next 15 years.
To help the council decide which firms to hire, it spent £7,350 sending 93 people on 23 site visits in the UK and Spain.
The trip to Madrid cost £988.
The Spanish firm, Urbaser, which Cllr Carter went to see was eventually chosen to take over the running of the council’s environmental and street cleaning services.
‘To say I have been on a winter break is a lie,’ said Cllr Carter.
‘It was 22 hours overnight and it was very hard work.
‘We went on a budget flight and stayed in a budget hotel.
‘The whole thing was not enjoyable.
‘There was a requirement that we went. I’m just doing my job.
‘It’s inappropriate that my family should be affected by those postcards coming through my letterbox.
‘Peter Chegwyn has told them that I enjoyed a winter break in Spain at their expense when I have not.’
But Gosport Lib Dem leader Cllr Chegwyn said: ‘Why did he go off to Spain at taxpayers’ expense?
‘A lot of people are very angry about this.
‘We thought it was right to point out the facts and give people the chance to have their say.
‘When everyone else is struggling to make ends meet and the council is cutting public services, councillors should not be going off to Spain at taxpayers’ expense.
‘It’s not just the sum, it’s the principle.
‘People really resent seeing their money spent in this way.’