Letters: Readers respond to Barry Rickman's resignation
SIR – Much as I empathise with the general point made by Caroline Harris (Letters, 26th March) that we all should be “kind in these unforeseen difficult times”, I would take issue that robust criticism of our political leadership by media and others should be muted.
Lest we forget, Barry Rickman (much loved or not) broke the law and was convicted in a criminal court (A&T, 19th March). As not only a local councillor but leader of New Forest District Council, it was and is incumbent on him to take responsibility and do the right thing ethically – which I am pleased to see he has now done.
It is the job of our media to hold those in power to account.
In an age where social media makes it all too easy to spread false and damaging information (eg the online Covid and vaccine deniers and denigrators, who our New Forest West MP seems to have unwittingly aligned himself with), and where some of our leading politicians are comfortable in being misleading (yes, Mr Johnson, I’m looking at you – just admit, you are planning to cut troop numbers and stop pretending you’re not), it is entirely right that those who lead and govern us should be questioned vigorously and held fully accountable for their actions and decisions – especially where they are convicted of an actual offence.
SIR – I very much hope that recent family matters will not be allowed to overshadow the many years of dedicated service that Cllr Barry Rickman has given to the local community.
Not only has he served as leader of the New Forest District Council for many years, making it one of the most efficient in the country, but he is a member of the national park authority, he was a parish councillor for over 40 years and a very active member of the New Forest Show committee.
He has supported and fundraised for many local charities.
Cllr Rickman has been a loyal colleague and friend.