YOU have to seriously question the professionalism, not to mention good sense, of elected town councillors who bleat that they are being ‘bullied’ when asked to read online planning applications before attending Ledbury Town Council planning committee meetings.

During my term as a town councillor, I was often dismayed by the untroubled ignorance of some committee members, eager to pontificate and vote on matters of which they had not the slightest understanding – except their prejudices. It seems the tradition continues.

Not only should elected members do their homework first, and read planning, financial and policy documents thoroughly before participating in debate, Liz Harvey is also right to suggest that it is an essential part of the job to be able to use a computer these days in order to discharge a councillor’s duties.

I was at the planning committee where Councillors Noel and Jayne Roberts objected to the idea of being trained in online matters.

Their Canute-like tirade against the 21st century was shocking, even by Ledbury standards where we are used to the 'old guard' raging against modernisation.

Sure, it’s your prerogative as an ordinary person not to want to be online, but with elected office comes the basic need to communicate and engage via email and the internet: if you can’t be bothered to learn to do this and regard such a suggestion as discrimination, then the question has to be asked: are you fit to serve?

Rich Hadley