AN UPSET Saddleworth Parish Councillor has spoken out after walking out at the start of a full council meeting.
Cllr Steve Hewitt, a father of three, left the council chamber after the arrival of Cllr Mike Buckley, who was sentenced in January for downloading indecent images of children.
Cllr Hewitt, Labour councillor for Springhead Lower, who also serves on Oldham Council, said: “My feelings have not changed about sharing a committee table with a sex offender.
“I feel Buckley should have resigned his position on the council when he was found guilty.
“He has brought the Saddleworth Parish Council into disrepute by insisting he takes a role in their decision making process and seeking support from old allies who believe his acts were insignificant.
“As a father and a grand-father I am vilified that someone who was caught buying pictures of young naked boys is still attending council meetings.
“I will not share a meeting with him and I feel that those who support him need to take a course on sexual exploitation to fully understand the implications on what Mike Buckley was involved in.”
He added: “The Parish Council chair asked on a previous occasion for Mike Buckley’s comments to be heard in Planning but as I was chair I refused – and I refuse to hear his comments in the conservation meetings as chair.
“I feel that if I share a meeting with Mike Buckley I will be accepting what he has done and that I condone his actions. That is not the case as the safe guarding of all children is important to me.”
Cllr Hewitt added locals have approached him offering support over his stance.
“I find the whole situation very uncomfortable,” he declared.