A LOCAL residents’ association has been criticised for redistributing an email smearing a newly elected community councillor, which appeared to breach their own rules on political discussion.

Members of the Sully Village Hub Facebook group attacked the Sully and Lavernock Residents’ Association (SLRA), after they sent out an email from a local resident accusing community councillor Steve Oaten – who was elected less than two weeks ago – of backing unpopular plans for additional housing in the village.

Residents took to social media to complain about the email’s content, which misquoted an article recently featured in the Penarth Times, but also directed criticism towards the SLRA itself.

The SLRA is run by Cllr Oaten’s fellow councillor, Lino Scaglioni, with its intended purpose being to send out information regarding community news and events.

The body is not directly affiliated with Sully and Lavernock Community Council.

An email issued by the SLRA in September last year pledged that they would only send out news items rather than opinion pieces, adding they would refuse to publish emails which contained: “foul language, political, sectarian, racist or sexist comments.”

Cllr Oaten has responded to the claims on social media and submitted a reply to the SLRA. It is understood that this was sent out to members on Wednesday evening, following multiple requests over several days.

But locals say they are concerned the SLRA is becoming increasingly selective with the emails they choose to send out. Five members of the Hub Facebook group claimed to have submitted emails challenging the original claims about Cllr Oaten, but at the time of writing, none had been forwarded on to the association's members.

Others said emails they had sent in about separate issues had also not been used, despite not breaching guidelines.

Cllr Scaglioni said the association rarely receives complaints, and that his only intention was to provide a public service to residents in Sully.

“The SLRA receives and sends out emails on behalf of residents (which) it has been doing for the last nine years,” said Cllr Scaglioni.

“It is non-political.

“I have only received one complaint regarding the email. (There are) many hundreds of recipients – only two regularly complain.

“ Emails on matters that concern Sully ... are sent out in good faith.”