Saddleworth father writes open letter to explain his petition to remove convicted councillor from public office

A SADDLEWORTH father behind an online petition calling for convicted Saddleworth Parish Councillor Mike Buckley to be removed from public office has spoken out about the motives behind his campaign.

Mike Buckley (deleted 84e368d7fc656eb4da8c3105c2bf3f6a)
CONVICTED: Cllr Mike Buckley

Cllr Buckley was found guilty at a crown court trial in December 2015 of downloading indecent images of young boys and was sentenced in January 2016 by Judge Jonathan Foster QC.

Buckley must take part in the Internet Sexual Offenders Treatment Programme, is part way through a 28-day curfew and is subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years.

Calls for his resignation from Saddleworth Parish Council followed, including from Council chairman Neil Allsopp who said “it would be inappropriate for Cllr Buckley to continue”.

But Buckley insisted he will not step down, saying “my responsibility is to those who elected me to the Council. I intend to carrying on doing that to the best of my abilities.”

Shortly after, an online petition entitled ‘Remove Convicted Criminal Mike Buckley From Public Office’ was created to push for Buckley’s dismissal from the Council and other public groups.

The petition has gained nearly 500 signatures so far and the man behind it – going by the pseudonym Mark – has written an open letter to explain why. His open letter reads:


Dear Mr Buckley,

This was a letter I thought I’d never have to write.

My name is Mark (not my real name, obviously), I’m a 42-year old married father of two from Saddleworth and I’m a survivor of child sexual abuse. There we go, I’ve said it. The sky hasn’t fallen in and I’m still here.

When I heard the news of your arrest last year I felt upset that a man from my own community had committed such a crime. Then I read the details of Project Spade, the international police operation that caught you, and I felt sick to the stomach.

You paid a criminal organisation to supply you with photographs and videos of naked children. As a result of police actions against the company, 378 vulnerable children (like I had been 35 years before) were rescued from an unimaginable life of cruelty and abuse.

You contributed directly to that Mr Buckley. You were charged, convicted and have paid the price. But have you?

In the period between your charge and your conviction, the only comforting factor for me was that when the trial was over, you would apologise and retreat from public life.

So you can imagine the horror I felt last week when you announced that your crimes were to have no bearing and you intended to carry on working in the public realm.

For a man who has been convicted of such a serious crime to have a say in local affairs, including the future of Saddleworth School, is highly inappropriate. So last week I started a petition to have you removed from Public Office. It’s been a resounding success and within just a few days I’ve had nearly 500 local people signing and demanding your resignation.

I would like you to read that petition Mr Buckley. I would like you to read the comments of all your constituents. And then I’d like you to do the decent thing and resign from Saddleworth Parish Council and any other public bodies you work on.

You owe it to the child victims of sexual abuse.

You owe it to the people of Saddleworth.

You owe it to yourself.


9 Replies to “Saddleworth father writes open letter to explain his petition to remove convicted councillor from public office”

  1. Dear Mark, WELL SAID, you have spoken for us all. God bless. Hope HE rots in HELL were he belongs. I’m from greenfield. Have signed.

  2. Absolutely abhorrent that someone so smug could continue in public office, he should be ashamed and disappear, end of, hopefully him

  3. Well said, well thought out, if you download pictures, you are perpetuating the crime, and making it a profitable business for criminals

  4. I am a former resident of Saddleworth and attended Saddleworth School, I cannot believe the arrogance of Mr Buckley clearly having no understanding of the aborant crime he is committed. I applaud ‘Mark’ for bringing this to light by creating such a petition. I am only sorry that he had to do it in the first place!

  5. Is this seriously a topic of discussion? Anyone who believes they can carry on with public office after such an amount of disgusting behaviour is obviously unfit for the task. What debate is required. Do we really have local representatives who support this person?

  6. If the pedophile (that’s what he is) does not resign why don’t the council just do it for him and dismiss him. Hope you are now happy in life Mark, god bless you.

  7. Buckley is the third guy from Saddleworth that I know of in recent years to have committed such offences – none of them should show their faces in Saddleworth again – and should not have any public office whatsoever – they commit the crime they pay the price – and the price is more than the sentence given by the Courts – the price they pay is also exclusion from the community – I would like to think they feel also shame but I very much doubt it

  8. The punishment was his “fall from grace.” I feel he has not served this punishment as he still stands on the Parish Council. I do believe the Courts should re-visit this and establish whether there has actually been any punishment received. Sure, we don’t like the guy for being what he is – a convicted sex offender, he was able to be charged from 15 images from 300 odd on his computer. I know that if all 300 odd were to be taken into account and looking at the wider investigation that he was a part of, he would have been in prison for sure. Not sure how he dodged that bullet.

    To now find that he is still involved with SDAG … oh my god, how bad can this get! I’d support having it built in Diggle just to wipe the smile from his (and his supporters’) faces!

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