84 per cent of neighbours oppose St Neots play area

WE would like thank Joyce and Brian Brown of Eynesbury for their support in The Hunts Post (Letters, April 11) in our ‘action’ against the St Neots Town Council over the Play Area that the Parkland’s residents do not want.

It was disappointing to read that the Ombudsman took so long to reply: we hope that when we write to them they will reply more promptly like a ‘public service’ should do.

St Neots Town Council tells you that it will reply to your requests or correspondence within seven days – we are still waiting for several replies to come.

At the council meeting on March 29, I asked both Cllr Harrison and Ed Reilly (acting town clerk) for a list of the addresses that the play area consultation letter had been sent to. When I made this request, Mr Reilly confirmed that he would send me the list of addresses – we are still waiting.

Similarly, at the council meeting on April 3, our action group was granted an open meeting to discuss this situation between all parties before the actual decision as to what equipment would be put on the play area: we are still waiting for the date of the meeting to be notified to us.

The ‘for’ group, which supposedly boasts 46 members at the last count had one mother and her baby attend the meeting: where were the other 45?

At the end of the meeting, one of our action group, Sandy Tuke, approached Cllr Harrison and a group of councillors and politely said: “We are not unreasonable people.”

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His immediate reply was that: “You have been aggressive throughout all the meetings and you are anti-child – now just get out so that we can carry on with our meeting.”

This is not something you would think of saying on the spur of the moment: you would have had to have taken time to think of this before saying it.

Sandy Tuke is a mother of two children and a grandmother to five children: how can she be ‘anti-child’?

As soon as I got home after the meeting, I sent an e-mail to Mr Reilly, asking for Cllr Harrison to be dismissed from the town council for his behaviour in a public council meeting.

Unbeknown to me at this time, my friend and neighbour, Owen Murrell, also sent a similar e-mail to the town council asking for a formal apology from Cllr Harrison. We are still waiting replies from the town council.

On the evening of April 14, I received a visit from Pc Aaron Murphy, who had been sent by his inspector, Mark Greenhalgh, following a complaint lodged by Cllr Harrison with the police against me, John Bowskill, for allegedly being aggressive at the meeting on March 29.

Pc Murphy did not know what the aggressive incident had been until I explained it to him, and he did not see it as being very aggressive.

Cllr Harrison has told the police that if I am aggressive again at any future meeting, I would be asked to leave.

At the council meeting on April 3, the town council said it was now looking at a play area for children up to 11 years old. If this had been the plan from the start and properly set out in the consultation letter, I am sure that we would not have had this problem we have now.

Owen Murrell and I carried out a poll on Sunday April 8. We called on 69 houses around the immediate area of Balmoral Way, Cawdor Place, Dunster Way and Bodiam Way, which actually front onto the open space or are situated along one of the footways leading to the open space – the residents who would be the most inconvenienced and upset by the installation of a play area.

Four were for the play area, four neutral and 41 against the play area.

This seems to us to be a more representative poll and the results show that the play area is not wanted here.

JOHN BOWSKILL and others

Balmoral Way/Cawdor Place Action Group Against Play Area