PRESSURE is mounting on Weymouth’s council leader Mike Goodman over his comments about hoteliers.
The hoteliers have now launched a petition in support of a vote of no confidence into the Tory councillor’s leadership.
They will present the petition to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council at the next full council meeting on July 11.
The Tory chairman of the council’s management committee sparked outrage when he labelled hoteliers ‘scruffy and miserable’ in a leaked email obtained by the Echo.
Coun Goodman has not apologised publicly for his comments.
He telephoned just one of the hoteliers concerned to apologise and said the rest could ring him if they wanted to speak to him.
Dave Price, chairman of Weymouth and Portland Hoteliers and Guesthouse Leaseholders Association, is the driving force behind the petition.
Mr Price, of the Molyneux Guest House, said: “His actions are a disgrace and we need to make a stand.
“The petition is to get the council to address this issue instead of hide it away under the carpet.
“I waited a week and then emailed Mr Goodman directly; however, the response I got was not what I was hoping for.”
In the response email to Mr Price, the Tory leader said: “I am certainly very sorry that your members have been dragged into a party political campaign and as a consequence have been upset.
“Of course, if I had known that my internal communication was going to be used in that way, I would have used much more diplomatic language.”
Mr Price added: “The petition is also to do with all the things that have and are happening to Weymouth under his poor leadership.
“These include the fairy lights disappearing, the Weymouth Pavilion fiasco, traffic chaos, the laser lights, bad advertising campaigns and the list goes on.
“Coun Goodman should not be able to continue as leader now that his true thoughts and feelings are known. We really want to work with the council on this issue and have tried for two years-plus now, all to no avail. I am glad to say that I have had some very positive and constructive discussions with council officers with a view to initiating a steering group for the town with all parties invited to be a part.
“The council has acknowledged that there is a general assumption that accommodation is already fully booked during the Olympics and has proposed a plan of action including additional promotion and Olympic-themed materials to give to guests and put on their websites.”
The petition is available to sign until July 6 online at ipetitions. com/petition/voteofnoconfidenceinwpbcleader2012/
Email response to plea for apology
‘THANK you (David Price) for your e-mail. I am certainly very sorry that your members have been dragged into a party political campaign and as a consequence have been upset.
However, publishing my e-mail was not my decision and perhaps you should be asking who chose to try to damage my reputation and in so doing, inflamed the situation.
Of course, if I had known that my internal communication was going to be used in that way, I would have used much more diplomatic language. I get very upset when the best efforts of the council are regularly undermined by small sections of the community who prefer to use the pages of the Echo rather than engaging in genuine open debate with the council.
Recently, I have signed off several press releases about the torch relay event on the beach on July 12 and other events of this summer.
I have done interviews for ITV and Radio Solent about the laser lights and just today, with Wessex FM about the Olympic Games and our message that people should plan their visits and their stays during that period.
In all of these I emphasise that people should come to Weymouth to experience what we have to offer.
With respect, it is now your job to capture them and get them to sleep in your beds. Your people were set up by the Echo and I have been set up by a political opponent.
I am not going to give either of them the satisfaction of conducting my business through their pages and to their agenda.’ Mike Goodman