THE council chief responsible for bins and community services is being forced to step back from business after being targeted by trolls.

Coun Gemma Davies, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and assets, said she had been the victim of online abuse, including being told to "f**k off and die".

It left the Independents for Herefordshire councillor for Saxon Gate, elected in May 2019, deciding to "take some time away from council business".

Coun Davies said: "I personally have had threats against me, had private messages telling me to f*** off and die (lovely) plus countless others telling me how I’m not qualified to be a councillor."


She said she had people she considered friends say she was not cut out for the council because abuse is something that "comes with the territory".

"Well it’s not," she said, also suggesting a councillor could be killed.

"It’s time to hold people to account for the things that they put on social media. Your actions have consequences.

"One day something seriously bad will happen to a councillor or council worker and everyone will hold a vigil and say we didn’t think something like this could happen.

"Well it can, and it will if we carry on the witch-hunt that appears to be never-ending."


She said she was a big advocate for free speech and she respected people's opinions, even if she thinks they were abhorrent.

Criticising Facebook pages inciting hatred, she said: "We are all responsible for the things that we put on social media be it at an organisational level or a personal."

Coun Davies threatened that any person who puts anything offensive online about herself or others will be reported to their employer and the police.

In a lengthy statement, she also thanked those who had supported her over the past three years.