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Councillors at war in Peasedown St John


Peasedown residents accused of being “manipulated, vulnerable and naive.”

Open warfare has broken out between Peasedown St John Councillors Sarah Bevan and Nathan Hartley after each has made public damaging accusations about the other.

Sara Bevan - "Peasedown residents are manipulated, vulnerable and naive.”

Sara Bevan – “Peasedown residents are manipulated, vulnerable and naive.”

The Bath Mercury received an email from Sarah Bevan, copied to senior members of the Liberal Democrat run council, including Leader Paul Crossley, in which she accused Nathan Hartley, who recently resigned from the Liberal Democrats, of running a personal campaign against her.

In the email, citing two critical letters that have appeared from Peasedown residents in the Somerset Guardian recently, Bevan calls one letter writer, Sarah Baker, a liar for claiming that she had met her several times to discuss new playground equipment and states (this is)…”yet another example of manipulation of vulnerable, naive people who aren’t aware of the implications of following Nathan’s orders.

“If she really wanted an answer from me on this, why not contact me direct? My contact details have been publicly available for over 10 years. Does she really expect me to answer her through the local paper? No, she doesn’t. she’s been set up.

“Given the two letters in last week’s Guardian, one of which also attacks me personally, this is obviously going to be a continuous weekly campaign by Nathan through often vulnerable others to discredit me even further than he already has done over the past 18 months.

“It’s almost beyond belief that after Nathan and I worked like a dream team, each complementing the other’s skills, both of us focussed entirely on doing good in the local community, for nearly a decade, that he has chosen to upset and demean me in this way, publicly and without any justification, using others as his hiding place.”

Bevan then goes on to suggest that the letter writer may not even exist. “I’ve checked the electoral roll for Frederick Avenue and can’t find anyone with this name – there’s a Susan Baker, but no Sarah.”

In response a clearly angered Nathan Hartley has lashed out at Bevan and the Liberal Democrat group.

“I was disappointed and saddened to read the email sent by Sarah to the Lib Dem leadership this week attacking me.

Nathan Hartley - “This whole saga has left me worried, concerned and most of all saddened for the whole of Peasedown."

Nathan Hartley – “This whole saga has left me worried, concerned and most of all saddened for the whole of Peasedown.”

“When I resigned from the party last month I did so on the premise that Sarah and I could continue to work with each other for the good of our community. It now looks as if this may be difficult.

“In my resignation letter to the Leader of the Council I held off citing my concerns about Sarah’s commitment to Peasedown, and her growing lack of activity and visibility in the community. Just 18 months ago she was ready to sell her house and move into Bath. Giving reasons to me that she had ‘had enough’ of Peasedown, and discussions had started for her to stand in a new seat in the city.

“Often since residents have asked me ‘where is Sarah?’, showing frustration that she isn’t seen much about the place and has developed a reputation for not responding to emails. I’ve found myself having to make excuses for her absence.

“What worries me most though about these leaked emails, is that she accuses Peasedown residents of being manipulated, vulnerable and naive. What an awful thing to say – particularly by one of their councillors! Peasedown residents are some of the most forward thinking and independent-minded people I know.

“This whole saga has left me worried, concerned and most of all saddened for the whole of Peasedown”



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