Fareham hit by mystery political littering with former council candidate's leaflets strewn across the town centre
A PHANTOM litterbug left the centre of Fareham strewn with leaflets promoting a recent council candidate, causing heated recriminations to fly over the fly-tipped mess.
Dozens of leaflets endorsing Jeannie Wigmore, of the Independent Group, for Fareham Borough Council have been scattered from the high street to the River Wallington.
The leaflet litter led to a recriminating Facebook post from the Fareham Conservative page, which urged Ms Wigmore to ‘urgently right this wrong’ and ‘publicly apologise for the environmental vandalism’.
But the former candidate said she has no idea how they appeared – and disputes that they are her official canvassing literature.
The 64-year-old said: ‘Yesterday I woke up to my phone going mad with messages, emails and texts.
‘It confused me to say the least because the people that delivered my leaflets were close friends – any that were undelivered were returned to me and I checked with the council that they could be recycled.’
Ms Wigmore says the littered leaflets appear to be ‘a poor man’s version’ of her promotional material, seemingly photocopied with text changed or missing.
Now the retired police officer believes that the person responsible is hoping to create a ‘smear campaign’ against her.
Regarding the timing of the mysterious litterbug, she said: ‘The only person that can answer that is the person responsible.’
And she has also been left ‘upset’ about the demands of the Fareham Conservatives’ post.
She added: ‘The way the Conservative Party has gone about it...it’s school playground tactics.
‘Because they have accused me of this without even contacting me – nothing. No one has bothered to contact me.
‘If anyone wants a public apology now, it’s me.’
There were no plans for an apology from the Conservatives according to the council group’s leader, Councillor Sean Woodward.
The executive leader of Fareham Borough Council said: ‘Sometimes things go wrong, and the best thing to do is to apologise and sort it – she’s done neither.
‘I didn’t write the post but it basically said take ownership and sort the problem.
‘Sometimes our leaflets end up in inappropriate places, and what we do is immediately apologise and sort it. And my reading of the post is that’s what she’s being asked to do.’
Councillors are pursuing leads to identify the person responsible, according to Cllr Woodward.
Fareham Borough Council has been contacted for more information regarding the removal of the litter.
Despite the rubbish situation, Ms Wigmore has not been deterred from running for a council seat in the future.
She said said: ‘It’s given me more determination.’