WISBECH: Council clerk branded "vindictive" for using headed paper to protest against sex shop
PUBLISHED: 17:26 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:29 02 June 2010
EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY TOWN clerk Erbie Murat was branded vindictive and vile for using his official Wisbech Town Council email to launch an astonishing attack on plans for a sex shop at Guyhirn. Mr Murat delivered a bitter and personal atta
By JOHN ELWORTHY
TOWN clerk Erbie Murat was branded "vindictive and vile" for using his official Wisbech Town Council email to launch an astonishing attack on plans for a sex shop at Guyhirn.
Mr Murat delivered a bitter and personal attack on Tony Ibrahim - the man behind the new venture- but also included scathing comments about the businessman's family, finances, ethnicity and children's schooling.
Mr Ibrahim's wife, Sheniz, told the Wisbech Standard last night: "The contents of Mr Murat's email are totally untrue and it has been passed onto the police and to my family solicitors.
"I cannot describe the distress the distribution of this email has caused my family and I."
She claimed Mr Murat had put her children at risk "by stating some Islamic word and stating which school they attend. Everything in his email can be proven to be false. Mr Murat is vindictive and vile and he is a disgrace to everything he claims to represent."
Mr Murat claimed he had been friends with Mr and Mrs Ibrahim "until they went into the sex trade in Thorney Toll-but that was a fairly innocuous little shop." He said his former friend was "putting our children and our village at risk with outlandish plans to turn Guyhirn into the sex capital of the Fens."
Wisbech Mayor, Councillor Jonathan Farmer, agreed "it was an inappropriate use of the email system, and we have had words with Mr Murat and that's the end of the matter."
He said the council's response was "proportionate" to the use of the email but this would be re-considered should Mr Ibrahim succeed in any legal challenge to the contents of the letter.
The Standard has obtained a copy of a further email from Mr Murat to Councillor Simon King in which he apologises "unreservedly for using the town council email to send FDC councillors and others copies of my open objections to a sex shop at Guyhirn. These were sent as a private individual and chair of the Guyhirn Village Hall Trust, not as the town clerk of Wisbech."
Guyhirn Action Group, one of the lead protestors against the proposed shop, moved to distance themselves from Mr Murat claiming he has no involvement with either their group or the village hall committee, although he was a trustee of the village hall.
Fenland Council said no change of use for the proposed shop was necessary but it would be involved in licensing the shop.
Last Thursday some 100 people attended a meeting to discuss the proposed shop but Mr Ibrahim said they represented only a small portion of the 1,000 strong local community.
"People suggested they don't want change but when this was a restaurant no one used it- that's why it went bankrupt," he said.
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