MIKE Lilley is an extremely approachable and pleasant councillor and he always speaks his mind.

And that’s probably the problem.

His reply in a Twitter conversation shows just that and it has justifiably caused an issue.

He is a popular council member among all parties but his Tweet is simply unjustifiable.

People in senior council positions cannot go around using the sort of language published on his Twitter page.

There is no doubt he is genuinely remorseful and regrets his actions.

But it could cost him his position on Colchester Council.

That is for the Governance Committee members, or indeed his Labour group, to decide.

The number of indiscretions brought before the committee is a concern.

In recent months, a councillor was hauled in front of committee for comments made about travellers.

He received no sanction and a meeting was set up to help councillors better understand the difficulties authorities have when faced with illegal encampments.

Another councillor was found to have breached the officer/member protocol with comments she made about an alleged incident involving a homeless man and a council worker.

She faced no further action.

Of course the public wants councillors who will speak their minds, but they must ensure their standards are beyond reproach. Often, however, that's easier said than done.