A local politician who sent an email described as "rude and bullying" to a council officer and member of the public said he was simply "passionate about helping people".

Three Rivers district councillor Guy Davis was told he'd broken three council codes of conduct when he sent the message "now get off your backside and do something about this problem" at the end of March.

The message was sent after several residents complained to councillor Davis about commuters parking badly in The Drive, Rickmansworth.

The council's standards committee investigated the message and said Councillor Davis had failed to treat an officer with respect, bullied them, and brought his office and the authority into disrepute by making offensive remarks.

Councillor Davis said: "I was forceful with demands on one council official to take urgent action, so wrote to him with the remark. I also provided some suggestions on reasonable, practical actions to take.

"Whilst I appreciate that the remark was forceful, I am passionate about helping people who elected me to resolve their problems."

The standards committee met on July 2 to discuss the complaint but councillor Davis did not submit any evidence, offer an explanation, apologise or even attend the meeting.

Nigel Gates, chairman of the standards committee, said: "This is a waste of council taxpayers’ money which could have been avoided at an early stage with an apology.

"The fact Councillor Davis failed to attend the hearing or respond to any of the many communications shows his complete and utter contempt for this process."

The standards committee is no longer able to suspend a member from office following a change of legislation on June 6.

In a report, the committee confirmed that had this not been the case, a period of suspension would have been imposed, "bearing in mind the seriousness of the breaches and the councillor’s total failure to co-operate throughout the process."

Councillor Davis added: "I think that the unelected senior person who took this case to a higher level of complaint was wasting my time and the time of other councillors.

"I think he should have dealt with the matter with senior-management mentoring of his staff, rather than setting off a chain of unnecessary meetings.

"We are elected to act for our residents, not waste time and costs dealing with minor management issues relating to staff sensitivities.

"I am not going to apologise for such an out of proportion response."

Mr Davis is a former Conservative having resigned from the party at the end of May, and now stands as an independent councillor.