Labour South Glos councillor attacks local democracy
Labour councillor for Filton, Roger Hutchinson has released a statement in which he attacks the actions of his local parish council and residents who attend meetings.
In the statement released to a local magazine, Mr Hutchinson writes to complain about the move by Filton council to introduce charges for boules and cycle speedway track use. As captain of one of only two teams who use the boules court and secretary of the Filton cycle speedway club, Mr Hutchinson claims his clubs were "shocked" by the level of charges introduced.
He says in his statement : " The council have set charges in line with other facilities elsewhere although these is nothing to compare them with",
He also claims the boules teams bring revenue to the Ratepayers arms but doesn't say how much revenue this has achieved in the last few years. Football teams who pay to use Elm Park fields are regular users of the bar, which recent reports by Filton council showing income on match days proved.
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Mr Hutchinson also attacks residents who attend council meetings saying that "The charges are being welcomed as fair by residents who attend Filton council meetings and apparently represent the Filton community" He also says they "Apper to want both facilities removed"
But residents have responded to Mr Hutchinsons claims on the matter
One resident said " This councillor has lost touch with reality on this matter and is allowing his own personal opinions to cloud his judgement on what is right. It is also deeply concerning that he should feel it necessary to make comments about honest decent members of the Filton public, who take a genuine interest in local community issues. Many of the residents who attend council meetings are elderly and will be upset by these awful spiteful words. His behaviour at meetings is becoming a real cause for concern amongst residents"
Mr Hutchinson is no stranger to controversy having been found guilty of breaching the councillor code of conduct twice last year. He also stormed from a Filton council meeting in 2010, failing to vote on a crucial fieldworks project on behalf of voters. Mr Hutchinson also interrupted chair of finance committee, Bill Moore, repeatedly from the public gallery in November last year, in an attempt to stop them voting on boules and cycle track charges. Mr Moore had to request that he refrain from such behaviour.
Only last month it was revealed at a council meeting, that Mr Hutchinson had met privately Lisa Timbrell, Filton leisure centre manager, in an attempt to reduce proposed charges for boules and speedway. He then went on to make a statement saying he had no influence over such matters.
Filton Independent Party chair has released a statement condeming the actions of Mr Hutchinson it reads " We are disappointed councillors Hutchinson has taken this approach to continue to complain about Filton councils vote to introduce charges fairly. We wonder who Mr Hutchinson is representing on these matters, as its clearly not residents as his statement makes clear. These are the same residents who vote to ensure they have a democratically elected council. It is both unwise and unfair to attack the public who take the time to attend council meetings as is they're right to do so. We feel councillor Hutchinson should review his remarks in his statement and publicly apologise to residents"
Filton town council meeting on the 24th April 7.30 pm.