A prominent Alton personality has come to the defence of Alton Town Council’s open spaces committee chair Cllr Suzie Burns over Kings Pond.

Writing to the Herald, Pat Lerew, MBE, said she had “increasing concerns” that Cllr Burns was being “singled out especially for personal harassment”.

Mrs Lerew claimed there was a “campaign” on social media which she said is “no longer about Kings Pond but a witch hunt”.

Mrs Lerew added Cllr Burns’ photograph and other personal details such as her address and phone number had been posted online without consent.

“Why do this if not to incite others to join in his harassment of this lady?

“It is time that all the other members of Alton Town Council, of whatever gender or political persuasion, made a joint public statement condemning the persecution of one of their colleagues so that it is clear to local residents where they stand.

“It would be deplorable if such behaviour was seen to be acceptable in Alton.”