A BIZARRE spat over a post-it note has broken out after Assembly election candidate Ross England was caught on CCTV "pranking" a Vale councillor.
When Cllr Lis Burnett parked her car on Barry High Street at the start of November last year, she returned to find a yellow Post-It note stuck on her windscreen bearing the words "penalty charge notice" – a reference to the council's plans to introducing parking fees in three of Barry's town centre car parks.
Concerned about who had left the note, Labour's Cllr Burnett viewed CCTV footage and saw Conservative member Ross England – who is vying for the Vale of Glamorgan's seat at the Welsh Assembly elections in May – emerging from the Conservative office on High Street to place the paper on her windscreen before walking around the block and back into the office.
Mr England called the incident a "light-hearted prank" and "a spontaneous joke making a point about the impact of the council’s proposed car parking charges".
He added that he thought Cllr Burnett's response was "churlish at best, arrogant at worst".
Cllr Burnett said she was surprised that Mr England had decided to contact the Press about the issue and asked whether "such juvenile behaviour was appropriate for someone who is seeking responsible political office".
Cllr Burnett said: "Stories are widespread of attempts to distract drivers in order to carry out a crime or attack and while I find it difficult to believe that such an incident would take place in a main shopping street in Barry, I am mindful that undertaking such an act in the very short time available indicated a degree of premeditation.
"I therefore asked for the CCTV coverage of the street over those few minutes to be reviewed.
"This is an option open to any member of the public.
"It saddens me that rather than respond to my concerns in relation to his behaviour this tax-payer funded political employee now feels it appropriate to launch a personal attack through the media.
"It leads me to ask, if it was a light-hearted protest, why did Ross England not identify himself at the time of his supposed protest or when I raised the issue with him and Alun Cairns?
"Why does he feel that it is appropriate to launch a personal attack once he has been caught out?
"And why does he feel it acceptable to use the content of a letter sent to his employer to launch a political attack?"
Mr England said: "I am very disappointed that Lis Burnett has responded to what was obviously a harmless political joke by demanding to see CCTV footage.
“The post-it-note was clearly a joke in reference to her role in attempting to introduce unpopular car park charges – it is bizarre she should demand CCTV footage of a light-hearted act of political protest.
"More serious questions could be asked about whether this is part of a vendetta against those who have brought her and her fellow Labour councillors perilously close to a u-turn on car parking charges?”
A spokesman for the Vale of Glamorgan Conservatives called the protest "humorous" and congratulated MP Alun Cairns and Mr England for being at the forefront of "a community campaign against parking charges" that is "on the verge of success".