Councillor at centre of racism allegations
A "MILD-MANNERED" district councillor is at the centre of a racism probe after a resident claimed he used discriminatory words at a public meeting.
Councillor Anthony Dunning, a Tory who represents Folkestone East ward, has been accused of racism by Madeline Prendergast, of Wear Bay Road.
Mrs Prendergast has alleged that he showed racial discrimination during a meeting of the North East Folkestone Community Action Group in March.
She has reported Councillor Dunning, who defected from the Lib Dems in 2008, to Shepway District Council's standards committee for allegedly breaking the code of conduct for members.
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He denies the allegations, but external investigator Richard Owen is looking into the matter.
Councillor Dunning admitted there was a "flare up" at the neighbourhood meeting, during which residents were asking the council to act more quickly on issues such as tree work.
The Densole resident said the episode was "doubly embarrassing" for him because he is a member of the standards committee but vowed that he was innocent. He was due to meet the investigator this week.
He said: "I don't deny there was an incident but I deny the accusation I'm a racist, I'm definitely not.
"I've worked in international organisations across the world and have never had a problem, and I'm 73 so there would have been problems by now if I was."
When contacted by the Herald Mrs Prendergast was unwilling to explain her allegations.
She said: "No comment. How did you get my name? How did you get my number? You've got no right, no comment. I'm not very well, no comment."
A reporter informed her that her accusations were on the SDC website and therefore in the public domain, but she still refused to comment.
Gordon Williams, agent for the Tory party in Shepway, rode to the defence of Councillor Dunning.
He said: "I can honestly say that I am astonished, I can't believe that there's any significance or substance in these allegations.
"A milder-mannered man than Anthony Dunning you could never wish to meet."