Councillor criticised over petition snub

A SENIOR politician has been severely criticised after he told campaigners he was going to bin their 1,000-signature petition.Pierre Oxley is in charge of leisure services at Tendring District Council and is introducing a £2million programme of improvements.

A SENIOR politician has been severely criticised after he told campaigners he was going to bin their 1,000-signature petition.

Pierre Oxley is in charge of leisure services at Tendring District Council and is introducing a £2million programme of improvements.

But he is also looking to raise £80,000 from the public towards the changes and the council has agreed to various price increases.

Those include a 22% jump in the cost of football pitch hire and swimming lessons also went up by the same amount.


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But the Tendring Youth Council has hit out against the hikes, saying youngsters will be put off keeping fit by higher prices.

Stephen Mayzes, leader of the youth council, has been leading a protest against the new charges and organised a petition.

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More than 1,000 people in the Clacton area put their name to it, but when Mr Mayzes presented it to Mr Oxley at the council he was told it would be going in the bin.

Speaking to the EADT yesterday, Mr Mayzes said: “I asked him a direct question about what would be happening to it and was told me it was not going to be read and was going straight in the bin.

“There were three of us there who heard him say it and I thought his general attitude towards us was appalling.

“I thought the whole point of being a councillor was to listen to what people say and act on their wishes.”

Mr Mayzes added he was planning to report Mr Oxley to the Standards Board of England, which is responsible for investigating complaints against councillors.

But Mr Oxley was unrepentant, saying budgets had been decided, changes had been approved, and his spending priorities lay elsewhere.

“I am not going to do anything with the petition - it will go in the bin. I told him he could give me the petition, but I will not be doing anything with it.

“People are asking me to spend money on leisure facilities across the district and money has already gone in to the leisure centre and there will be £1.7million spent on a new health spa and gym and on top of that there will be a new astro turf pitch costing more than £100,000.

“I said to him if I was not interested in investing in facilities I could understand where he was coming from, but I am investing big money and also asking the public to make a contribution of £80,000 towards it.”

He also said the average increase to leisure services prices was only about 5%.

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